College Q&A: VC offers respiratory care program

May 13, 2010 at 12:13 a.m.
Updated May 15, 2010 at 12:15 a.m.

Q: Recently, I read in U.S. News & World Report in the "careers" section that the median salary for a respiratory therapist is more than $50,000 per year and that the most common degree is an associate's degree. Does Victoria College offer a respiratory therapist program?

A: Victoria College does offer a two-year associate degree program in respiratory care. Upon successful completion of the AAS degree program, graduates will be eligible to take a series of national board exams to become a registered respiratory therapist.

VC's Respiratory Care Program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

The Respiratory Care Program is structured to be finished in as little as two years, including one summer session, after completing program prerequisites. There are special entrance requirements for the program, including the completion of the appropriate application, along with assessment testing, prerequisite classes with an acceptable grade point average, submission of a current CPR Health Care Provider card, a physical exam and immunizations.

Working under the direction of a physician, a respiratory care therapist administers therapeutic treatments to patients who have breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists work with some of the most sophisticated machinery and medically frail patients in health care today. From using complicated mechanical ventilators for life support to teaching a child how to properly take inhaled medicines, respiratory therapists must possess a variety of skills.

Respiratory care is a career in demand. Even considering the stringent program admission requirements and challenging curriculum, respiratory care is an exceptional value as even entry-level respiratory therapists in this area generally make a minimum of $19 hourly (or $38,000 per year). Those living in larger metro areas may expect to start out at as much as $22 per hour.

Respiratory therapists may choose from a number of different specialties including critical care for adults, children or infants, diagnostics, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, sleep study laboratories, hyperbaric medicine, home care, research or education.

For more information about VC's Respiratory Care Program, please visit the VC website at or contact program chair Chris Kallus by phone at 361-572-6491 or e-mail at

Do you have a question about The Victoria College? Contact Katy Long, writer/photographer, at 361-573-3291 Ext. 3408 or



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