Respiratory Care is an Allied health specialty employed in the treatment of patients with acute and chronic disease of the heart and lungs. There is great opportunity for individuals qualified in this specialty due to the high incident of these diseases.
The respiratory therapist administers care under the direction of a physician. The therapist evaluates the patient's progress and makes recommendations for changing therapy. The therapist also responds to emergency situations and provides treatment to patients requiring intensive care.
In the practice of respiratory care, the therapist uses medical gases, oxygen administration devices, environmental control systems, humidification aerosols, medication, ventilatory assistance and control, bronchopulmonary drainage, breathing exercises, respiratory rehabilitation, assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and maintenance of artificial and mechanical airways in an attempt to restore the patient to the best possible health.
The Respiratory Care Program at Jackson State Community College requires twenty-one (21) months to complete. This includes one summer term. The first two (2) semesters are spent at the college. The remaining three (3) semesters are divided between the college and hospital to receive the necessary clinical training. Students participate in acute, critical, and home health care within the clinical education.
Graduates of Jackson State Community College's Respiratory Care Program receive an Associate of Applied Science degree. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national entry level certification examination and the national registry examination offered by the National Board of Respiratory Care. Graduates also are eligible for state licensure as required by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiner's Council on Respiratory Care.