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Welcome to the Respiratory Care Department! If you are interested in or have questions about the Respiratory Care Program at UTMB, please call us at (409) 772-5693 or email Debbie Hamilton, our Departmental Secretary. You may also Request Program Information Online.
Did you know the Respiratory Care Profession is considered one of the top 25 best jobs for 2013? It is! U.S. News and World Report just published its list of 100 best jobs for next year, and "respiratory therapist" came in at No. 24 overall and No. 13 in the health care category.
Respiratory Therapists work as part of the health care team in hospitals, cardiopulmonary diagnostic laboratories, rehabilitation centers and home care agencies. They work with physicians and other health professionals in health care planning, evaluation, and treatment of patients with cardiac and pulmonary disorders.
As clinicians they perform therapeutic and life support procedures including the administration of oxygen and aerosolized medications, breathing treatments, chest physical therapy and mechanical ventilator support. In addition, they perform diagnostic tests that assess cardiac and lung function and operate physiologic monitoring equipment and life support systems in the critical care setting.
A Matter of Life and Breath - Respiratory Therapist Career Overview
The Department of Respiratory Care offers several different tracks for students interested in the Profession of Respiratory Care. The tracks begin with an entry level bachelors degree and advance to the masters degree.
The Entry Level Bachelors Degree (BSRC) or Foundation Program is designed for those just beginning their professional training with little prior knowledge of Respiratory Care, and requires 60 semester hours of prerequisites for admission and 87 semester hours (2 years) of professional course work after entry into the program. During the Senior year of the program, students become eligible to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Entry Level Examination (required for State licensure) and the (NBRC) Registry Examinations. Passing these NBRC exams is a requirement for graduation.
The AS to BSRC Bridge Program designed for graduates of other types of Respiratory Care Programs who have passed the NBRC Registry examinations, provides for up to 50 semester hours of block credit. In addition to the same 60 semester hours of prerequisites required for admission to the Foundation program, AS to BSRC (career ladder) students must complete 37 hrs semester hours of professional courses after entering the program.
The RC Department opened a new Masters Degree Program in the Spring of 2012. This program leads to a Master of Science Degree in Health Professions with a specialty in Respiratory Care. The MS in Health Professions is a degree targeting individuals who are registered therapists and are looking to advance their training in one of the four specialty areas of management, education, research or clinical practice. The masters curriculum is predominantly a web-based curriculum.
In addition the Department offers two dual degree tracks for students wishing to combine their Bachelors Degree in Respiratory Care with a Graduate Degree in Physician Assistant Studies or a Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy. The BSRC must be completed before entering these Graduate Degree programs.