Respiratory Therapy Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT)

Be In Demand with a Respiratory Therapy Degree

Do you...

  • Have an interest in pursuing a health profession?
  • Enjoy helping people in their time of need?
  • Like working with technology?
  • Perform well in math and science?
  • Prefer a profession with a lot of variety on the job?
  • Want to choose your work setting and the types of patients you serve?
  • Want to choose your work setting and the types of patients you serve?

Respiratory Therapy is an allied health specialty that concentrates on the treatment, management, control, and care of patients’ breathing. A respiratory therapist is an integral part of the health care team that uses their didactic and clinical practice to evaluate treatments, therapeutics, medications and ventilation for the best outcomes for patients. A Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) prepares students to enter the workforce as registered respiratory therapists.

  • Classroom, laboratory, and hands-on experience - Seven regional hospitals for clinical rotation facilities
  • Four clinical rotations, from adult to neonatal
  • Intensive Care, Emergency Room, Neonatal, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Rehab, and more

Employment of respiratory therapists has been projected to grow 23 percent between 2016 and 2026—much faster than the average for all occupations.

Top Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Urgent Care Centers
  • Clinical/Doctor's Office
  • Military Hospitals

Top Career Paths

  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Adult Intensive Care Specialist
  • Pediatric Respiratory Specialist
  • Pulmonary Technologist

Dig Deeper Into the Program Details

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Official SAT and/or ACT test scores (Marywood is test optional)
  • Essay (optional)

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Career Settings

Respiratory therapists provide the hands-on care that helps people recover from a wide range of medical conditions. Therapists get to know their patients, and their patients’ families, and have the opportunity to help them through trying times. Whenever breathing is an issue, they are there.

  • In hospitals, giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • In intensive care units, managing ventilators that keep the critically ill alive.
  • In emergency rooms, delivering life-saving treatments.
  • In newborn and pediatric units, helping kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
  • In operating rooms, working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
  • In patients’ homes, providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
  • In sleep laboratories, helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.
  • In skilled nursing facilities and pulmonary rehabilitation programs, helping older people breathe easier and get more out of life.
  • In doctors’ offices, conducting pulmonary function tests and providing patient education.
  • In asthma education programs, helping kids and adults alike learn how to cope with the condition.
  • In smoking cessation programs, assisting those who want to kick the habit for good.
  • In air transport and ambulance programs, rushing to rescue people in need of immediate medical attention.
  • In case management programs, helping devise long-term care plans for patients.

Respiratory Therapist Job Duties

Here is a list of tasks that Respiratory Therapists do every day.

  • Monitor patient’s physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Set up and operate devices such as mechanical ventilators, high flow oxygen, aerosol generators, nitric oxide gas inhalation therapy, and BiPAP/CPAP machines
  • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.
  • Maintain charts that contain patients’ pertinent identification and therapy information.
  • Read prescription, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient information to assess patient condition
  • Perform arterial blood gas punctures and analyze results
  • Are first line responders to emergency situations such as cardiac arrest and code blue situations performing manual ventilation and assist/perform intubations on patients

Ideal Skills for a Respiratory Therapist

Like most jobs in the healthcare profession, respiratory therapists need to have a unique skill set that allows them to multitask while remaining hyper-focused on the needs and conditions of their patients. All respiratory therapists should have the following skills:

  • Verbal communication skills
  • Calm bedside manner
  • Compassion
  • Deep understanding of infectious control
  • Ability to work with a medical team
  • Good judgment and quick decision-making ability
  • Time management skills
  • Physiological knowledge
  • Patience and ability to teach and train patients
  • Detail oriented
  • Science and math skills

The Respiratory Therapy program is located in the O’Neill Center for Healthy Families. The state-of-the-art facility includes spacious labs with equipment that will be seen in the clinical setting. Students simulate many therapies and use different types of equipment to build confidence before going into the clinical setting. All Respiratory Therapy majors are required to achieve competence in the lab in a controlled environment before going out to the clinical sites with patients. Students perform real simulation situations and activities in the lab, so they will have an understanding of therapeutic concepts and how they are applied in real patient care settings. The simulations prepare our students to treat patients as they begin the clinical portion of the program.

A view of the multiple-story windows of the Oneill healthy families center

O'Neill Center for Healthy Families

1401 University Avenue
Map & Directions

The O'Neill Center for Healthy Families, located on University Avenue, provides classroom and research space, joining academic programs to innovative research. Students from the Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Exercise Science, Respiratory Therapy, and Physician Assistant programs have classes in this building.

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An L-shaped desk with chairs in the Marywood healthy families classroom

Healthy Families Classrooms

Map & Directions

The O'Neill Center for Healthy Families is the academic home of students in the nursing, nutrition and dietetics, respiratory therapy, and physician assistant programs, all of whom have classes in this building. Exercise Science students also take classes here. The facility includes traditional classroom space as well as clinical and lab space.

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The front of the science center with a Marywood banner on the lightpole in front of it and multiple trees surrounding the building

Center for Natural and Health Sciences

206 Morgan Road
Map & Directions

The Center for Natural and Health Sciences contains various science laboratories, computer labs, the 100-seat Comerford Theatre, and various classrooms. Classrooms for our Math and Computer Science, Science, Nursing, and Public Administration programs are in this building.

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Clinical Requirements
The following must be completed after a respiratory therapy major has been selected for, but prior to their start in the clinical portion of the program and are also requirements for continuation:

  • Physical examination and required immunizations
  • Background checks (Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI fingerprint check, and PA State Police Criminal Record Check)
  • Drug screens

The student should consider these factors before enrolling in this program. If the student has any questions regarding this, he or she should contact the program director.

In addition to tuition and fees, students must purchase uniforms, supplies, liability insurance, testing, and clinical parking fees. Students will be assigned computer simulations that will be completed throughout the program. This will prepare students to sit for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams when they have graduated.

Students will also be required to help within the community and gain knowledge outside of the classroom setting by acquiring Professional Development credits. These outside credits could include volunteering at American Lung Association events, attending informational sessions within the community that teach different types of cardio pulmonary disorders and diseases.

Membership in the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) is required by the start of the second semester of the clinical portion of Respiratory Therapist program.

Graduation Requirements
Graduation requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy include current Certification in American Heart Association BLS (CPR), American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification, American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification, professional development credits, and satisfactory performance on comprehensive written, laboratory, simulation, and oral exit examinations.

Acquiring Core Skills
In addition to the clinical skills that students will learn as part of their curriculum, the BSRT program incorporates core skills training into the program that will benefit all Respiratory Therapy students in their careers.

  1. Writing in the Profession
    Students will demonstrate the ability to write effectively in the profession. Elements include the ability to organize an argument, support the argument with high quality relevant evidence, deliver it with good sentence structure and grammar, and cite and reference appropriately.
  2. Oral Communication/Consultative Function/Knowledge
    Students will deliver a consultative presentation with recommendations that reflect the knowledge gained through courses in this program.
  3. Critical Inquiry/Evidence-based Medicine
    Students will demonstrate the ability to formulate a clinical question, search the medical literature, and assess the collected literature for quality, relevance and limitations.
  4. Teamwork/Interprofessional Cooperation
    Students will demonstrate collaboration in interprofessional teams to accomplish a common goal.
  5. Ethical Leadership
    Students will demonstrate effectively the ability to lead a group of professionals in an ethical manner promoting patient advocacy.
  6. Teaching Patients and Healthcare Professionals
    Students will demonstrate the ability to educate patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.

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