Everyone needs to breathe. Students trained as respiratory therapists at Columbia State go on to careers that include the assessment, diagnostic evaluation, treatment and care for patients with breathing disorders.
Respiratory therapists have special expertise in artificial ventilation, resuscitation and airway management. They care for patients in the emergency room, nursery and intensive care units. Respiratory therapists work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician offices and in homes.
According to the 2014-2015 edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook, employment for a respiratory therapist is expected to increase 19% between 2012 and 2022. (As of May 2012, the BLS stated the median income for respiratory therapist as $55,870 or $26.86/hr.)
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Note that all students entering the program are required to have a physical, a criminal background check and a drug screen. Positive results for either the criminal background check or the drug screen will eliminate the student from the program. Detailed information is available from the program director. Any felony convictions must be reported to the program director.