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Careers at WellSpan

Careers at WellSpan

Respiratory Care

A specialty focusing on cardiopulmonary life support. Respiratory care is a health care service delivered by trained practitioners who, under physician supervision, actively participate in the care of patients.

  • Mission

    The Respiratory Care Program provides a quality education at the registry level to prepare competent respiratory care practitioners to help meet manpower needs both locally and nationally.

  • About the Field of Respiratory Care

    Respiratory Care is an Allied Health specialty focusing on cardiopulmonary life support. Respiratory Care is a health care service delivered by trained practitioners who, under physician supervision, actively participate in the care of patients.

    Respiratory Care practitioners carry out physician orders using specialized equipment such as ventilators and pharmacological agents to help restore normal lung function. Respiratory Care practitioners treat patients requiring emergency attention (victims of heart failure, stroke, drowning, shock, and trauma) and those who suffer from chronic respiratory difficulties such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and cystic fibrosis.

    The practice of Respiratory Care encompasses, but is not limited to patient assessment, treatment, management, and preventative care of patients with cardiopulmonary problems. Techniques of Respiratory Care are also utilized to help physicians analyze lung disorders through various types of testing procedures including blood sampling, breathing tests, and exercise testing.

    Respiratory Care offers persons interested in caring for others the opportunity to serve as vital members of the health care team.

    Role of Respiratory Care Professionals

    Respiratory Care is a growing allied health profession. Although the majority of practitioners work in hospitals in general staff positions, there are many areas for employment and specialization, including neonatology, pulmonary function testing, home care companies, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centers, business management, education, medical equipment suppliers, administration, hyperbaric medicine, extracorporeal circulation, emergency transport, and research.

    Requirements for a Respiratory Therapy Career

    People interested in a career in respiratory therapy should possess the following traits.

    • Scientific Thinking - strong aptitude for math and science 
    • Good Interpersonal Relationship Skills - ability to interact well with patients, physicians, and other health professionals
    • Dedication - strong commitment to the service of others
    • Manual Dexterity - mechanical aptitude, ability to work with your hands 
    • Accuracy - attention to detail, avoidance of mistakes
    • Ability to Work Under Pressure - cardiac arrest, critical care, patients on ventilators
    • Integrity - honesty, reliability, ethical
    • Willingness to Continue to Learn - must be interested in continually updating knowledge
    • Caring - ability to comfort those in need
    Salaries

    Salaries vary considerably from one area of the United States to another. Beginning salaries may range from $38,000 to $54,000 for new graduates.

  • About the Respiratory Care Programs
    York College of Pennsylvania and WellSpan York Hospital

    York College of Pennsylvania, in cooperation with WellSpan York Hospital, offers Respiratory Care Programs leading to both an Associate of Science degree and a Baccalaureate of Science degree in Respiratory Care. These programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

    CoARC
    1248 Harwood Road
    Bedford, TX 76021
    817-283-2835
    http://www.coarc.com/  

    To view a comparison of respiratory care program outcomes, visit http://www.coarc.com/47.html

    Classroom, laboratory, and clinical facilities at York Hospital are used for the respiratory therapy courses. Students will also receive clinical education at secondary clinical affiliates. This site will help you understand more about a career as a Respiratory Therapist and the Respiratory Care Program.

    • Program Flexibility

      All of the respiratory therapy courses must be taken in sequence. (Failure or incompletion of a respiratory course will delay the respiratory therapy education by one year). The program also requires that the students attend summer sessions. However, there is some flexibility in the progression of the liberal arts and basic science courses. It is possible to pursue parts of the program on a part-time basis.

      Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from respiratory therapy classes, laboratories, and clinical experiences. Students must abide by agency parking restrictions. The clinical courses may not be scheduled according to conventional semester scheduling and may include clinical scheduling during evenings, nights and weekends.

      Programs of Study

      The Respiratory Care Programs prepare the student for a professional career as a respiratory care practitioner (RCP).

      Respiratory Therapist

      A respiratory therapist delivers services such as administration of medications and humidity, providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, training patients in self-care skills, administration of oxygen, testing of lung functions, and helping patients breathe with the aid of mechanical ventilators.

      Students who complete either of the programs at York College are eligible for the certification examination, administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), to become Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRT). The certification exam is often referred to as the entry-level exam. Most states require that graduates pass this exam before they are eligible to work in the field of Respiratory Care.

      Students who complete either of the programs at York College are also eligible to take the registry examination, administered by the NBRC, to become Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT).

    • Respiratory Therapist: Associate of Science Degree

      The A.S. Registered Therapist graduate will possess basic and advanced assessment skills and critical care knowledge due to a variety of classroom and clinical experiences. The Registry Level Associate of Science degree is three years long and has a total of 98 credits.

      Fall     Spring  
      General Chemistry I
      Biology I
      Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Math
      Analytical Reading/Writing

      4
      4
      3
      3
      __
      14

      General Chemistry II
      Human Communication
      Academic Writing
      Medical Terminology
      Introduction to Allied Health
      Area I Distribution Requirement
      4
      3
      3
      1
      1
      3
      __
      15
       
      Summer     Fall  
      Basic Science for Respiratory Care 
      (10 weeks)

      3
       
      __
      3

        Anatomy & Physiology I
      Area V Distribution Requirement
      Bronchopulmonary Hygiene
      Oxygen Therapy & CPR
      Clinical Practice I

      4
      3
      3
      3
      1
      __
      14

       
      Spring     Summer  
      Anatomy & Physiology II
      Mechanical Ventilation
      Pulmonary Function Testing
      Pediatric Respiratory Care
      Clinical Practice II
      4
      4
      2
      2
      2
      __
      14
      Area II Distribution Requirement
      Patient Evaluation (10 weeks)
      Clinical Practice IV (10 weeks) 
      3
      2
      1
      __
      6
       
      Fall     Spring  
      General Physics I
      Pulmonary Disease
      Area IV Distribution Requirement
      Pulmonary Physiology
      Clinical Practice V
      Physical Education
      4
      3
      3
      3
      1
      1
      __
      15
      Microbiology (BIO230)
      Free Elective
      Free Elective
      Cardiac Physiology
      Clinical Practice VI
      Physical Education
      4
      3
      3
      2
      1
      1
      __
      14
       
      Summer
      Clinical Practice VII (10 weeks) 3
      __
      3
       
    • Respiratory Therapist: Bacchalaureate of Science Degree

      The graduate of the B.S. degree program will possess all of the skills of the A.S. degree graduate. In addition, the B.S. graduate will have a more thorough knowledge of overall patient care and will develop, through use of clinical electives, an area of specialized clinical expertise. The B.S. Therapist program is four years long and has a total of 122 credits.

      Fall     Spring  
      Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Math
      Analytical Reading/Writing
      General Chemistry I
      Biology I

      3
      3
      4
      4
      __
      14

      Human Communication
      Academic Writing
      General Chemistry II
      Medical Terminology
      Introduction to Allied Health
      Area I Distribution Requirement
      3
      3
      4
      1
      1
      3
      __
      15
       
      Summer     Fall  
      Basic Science for Respiratory Care
      (10 weeks)
      3
      __
      Anatomy & Physiology I
      Area V Distribution Requirements
      Bronchopulmonary Hygiene
      Oxygen Therapy & CPR
      Clinical Practice I
      4
      3
      3
      3
      1
      __
      14
       
      Spring     Summer  
      Anatomy & Physiology II
      Mechanical Ventilation
      Pulmonary Function Testing
      Pediatric Respiratory Care
      Clinical Practice II 
      4
      4
      2
      2
      2
      __
      14 
      Area II Distribution Requirement
      Patient Evaluation (10 weeks)
      Clinical Practice IV (10 weeks)
      3
      2
      1
      __
       
      Fall     Spring  
      General Physics I
      Pulmonary Disease
      Area IV Distribution Requirement
      Pulmonary Physiology
      Clinical Practice V
      4
      3
      3
      3
      1
      __
      14 
      Microbiology (BIO230)
      Free Elective
      Free Elective
      Cardiac Physiology
      Clinical Practice VI
      Physical Education
      4
      3
      3
      2
      1
      1
      __
      14
       
      Summer
      Clinical Practice VIII (5 weeks) 1
      __
      1
           
       
      Fall     Spring  
      Free Elective
      Free Elective
      Area V Distribution Requirement
      Area II Distribution Requirement
      Respiratory Care Seminar
      Clinical Practice IX
      3
      3
      3
      3
      2
      1
      __
      15 
      Area IV Distribution Requirement
      Free Elective
      Area 1 Distribution Requirement
      Independent Study for Respiratory Care
      Clinical Practice X
      Physical Education
      3
      3
      3
      1
      1
      1
      __
      12 

      Students interested in pursuing a masters degree in Business Administration with a specialty in Healthcare Management may be able, with careful planning, to complete both the B.S. Respiratory Care Program and the masters in Business Administration Program in five years. Electives could be used toward the degree. If interested, please contact the Business Administration Program to see how this could possibly work out with your schedule.

    • Elective Information

      Students are free to choose electives as they wish. Electives may be used to fulfill requirements toward a minor degree. The following are suggested areas of study for those not pursuing a minor who desire appropriate coursework which will be an asset in Respiratory Care:

      • Computer Science - IFS105 or others
      • Gerontology - GER410 or others
      • Language - Spanish for the Healthcare Field - SPN107 (previous Spanish knowledge is required)
      • Statistics - BEH260
      • Selected Health Information Management courses
    • Admission & Tuition

      Applicants to the Respiratory Care Programs must have graduated from high school (or have earned a state equivalency diploma) and must exhibit evidence of a strong background in a college preparatory program. A minimum "C" or better is required in high school biology, chemistry, and algebra. A score of 950 or better is required on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), with a minimum of 450 on each section for the critical reading and math components. (Currently, the score for the writing portion is not being considered.) An ACT score of 21 is also acceptable. Applicants must tour a respiratory therapy department. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview with the program director and/or clinical coordinator. Transfer students and those "out of school" for several years will be considered on an individual basis.

      NOTE: Size of the class is limited. Admission to the college and RC major does not guarantee admission to the clinical portion of the program which begins the summer following the freshman year. Interviews will be conducted by the Selection Committee in March for selection of the group that will begin clinical training in June. Students with a GPA of less than 2.5 and those who have not completed the required freshman courses with a "C" or better grade will only be considered as space is available.

      Student Admission
      • Applicants to the Respiratory Care Program must follow the procedures outlined for all other York College applicants.
      • The Respiratory Care Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual preference, ethnic or national origin, age or gender when considering applicants.
      • The Respiratory Care Program will try to accommodate an applicant who has physical disabilities or limitations in order to meet essential functions/technical standards of the program and profession. (See Technical Standards)
      • Physical limitations that cannot be accommodated will be cause for denying admittance to the program.
      • All students admitted to the Respiratory Care Program must complete a preclinical screening examination with Employee Health Services. The screening will include, but is not limited to: health history, PPD for tuberculosis, immunization compliance, drug screening and an objective assessment of ability to perform the technical standards of the program. 
      • If there are any health issues identified that may prevent an applicant from performing the requirements of the program, Employee Health Services, along with the program director, will make a final decision concerning the matter.
      • All students admitted to the Respiratory Care Program will be subject to preclinical criminal background checks, child abuse checks and fingerprinting. This is necessary to safeguard patients and to help assure that students successfully completing the program will be eligible for employment.
      • Applicants who are found to be unacceptable following criminal background checks will not be granted admission to the clinical portion of the program. The individual will be notified of the reason(s) for admission denial.
      • For applicants who are denied admission, individual appeals will be considered by the Human Resources Department in conjunction with the program director for a final decision.
      Technical Standards

      Technical standards are based on tasks performed by the professional, i.e. the ability to accomplish the essential requirements of employment, as dictated by the general skills needed in the workforce. A qualified applicant must be able to fulfill these tasks with or without reasonable accommodation. The standards are to be applied with common sense, fairness, and sensitivity. At the time of acceptance into the clinical portion of the Respiratory Care Program, the applicant may be asked to complete a statement denoting his/her subjective evaluation of his/her ability to perform the technical standards of the profession.

      An applicant must have:

      1. sufficient eyesight to observe patients, to manipulate equipment and to evaluate procedures.
      2. sufficient hearing to assess patients and to communicate verbally with other people.
      3. sufficient physical and motor skills and coordination to manipulate equipment and to be able to ensure patient safety.
      4. sufficient oral and written skills in English to communicate needs promptly and effectively.
      5. sufficient intellectual and emotional behaviors to exercise independent judgment and discretion in the safe performance of patient procedures as verified by personal and/or professional references.
      Tuition

      Current tuition at York College of Pennsylvania is greater than $8,300 per semester, plus an additional $110 per respiratory credit to defray the additional costs of the clinical portions of the program. Summer coursework and expenses are also required. Students should be prepared for expenses in addition to those identified as tuition, such as student fees and room and board (current costs are over $5,000 per semester). Other expenses will include, but are not limited to: uniforms and lab coat, stethoscope, textbooks, self-assessment exams, medical insurance, preclinical medical evaluations. background checks and memberships in professional organizations.

      For More Information

      Qualified applicants may contact Mark Simmons, MSEd, RRT-NPS., RPFT, Program Director, Respiratory Care Program, WellSpan York Hospital at (717) 851-2464 or msimmons@wellspan.org  or Jim Heindel, BS, RT, Clinical Coordinator, Respiratory Care Program, WellSpan York Hospital at (717) 851-2944 or jheindel@wellspan.org  .

      Admission Office
      York College of Pennsylvania
      Country Club Road
      York, PA 17403
      (717) 849-1600 or 1-800-455-8018 

      Respiratory Care National Organization:
      American Assoc of Respiratory Care (AARC)
      9425 N MacArthur Blvd, Suite 100
      Irving, TX 75063
      972-243-2272
      http://www.aarc.org/

      Respiratory Care Examination Board:
      National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
      18000 W. 105th Street
      Olathe, KS 66061-7543
      913-895-4900
      http://www.nbrc.org/

      Although every effort has been made to present accurate information, we will not be held responsible for errors. The material presented is subject to change without prior notice.

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