2020-2021 Catalog

Respiratory Care (A.S.)

Associate in Science

Program Advisor: Thomas Carey, RRT, MPH

413-236-4526 • tcarey@berkshirecc.edu

This program is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), www.CoARC.com.

Respiratory care practitioners help treat patients with a wide range of cardiopulmonary illnesses, including such problems as asthma or heart failure. Respiratory care includes diagnostic testing and administering oxygen, various other gases and aerosol drugs.

Under a physician’s supervision, respiratory care practitioners plan and assist with patient care and serve as a resource for professionals in other health care fields. They work in various settings, including hospital acute care and intensive care units, hospital neonatal units (for premature infants), outpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, home care and diagnostic laboratories.

This program is a sequence of lecture, laboratory and clinical courses. Comprehensive on-site training provides opportunities for students to become skilled and confident in respiratory care procedures. Program graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care examination to become registered Respiratory Therapists. A related major at the baccalaureate level is respiratory care.

Essential Functions

Enrollment in the Respiratory Therapy program requires that the student, with or without reasonable accommodations (see Notes), must be able to:

  • Physical Stamina Required
    • Lift up to 50 lbs. to assist moving patients, supplies, equipment;
    • Stoop to adjust equipment;
    • Kneel to manipulate equipment, perform CPR, plug in electrical equipment;
    • Reach overhead lights, equipment, cabinets, and stocking, and attach oxygen to outlets;
    • Demonstrate motor skills and manual dexterity to store and move small and large equipment, apply sterile gloves, take BP, operate computers, perform CPR, utilize syringes, tubes and catheters, set up and maintain a sterile field;
    • Stand for prolonged periods of time to deliver therapy, check equipment and patient; and perform surgical procedures;
    • Feel to palpate pulses, perform physical exams, feel arteries or veins for puncture, and assess skin temperature;
    • Push and pull large wheeled equipment (mechanical ventilators, wheelchairs, equipment with patients, x-ray equipment, EKG machines and office equipment);
    • Walk for extended periods of time;
    • Walk quickly or run (with a sense of urgency) to respond to emergency calls or assist in critically-ill patient transports;
    • Manipulate small instruments, syringes, and knobs and dials associated with diagnostic or therapeutic devices;
    • Hear verbal directions, alarms, telephone; hear through a stethoscope for heart sounds, lung sounds and blood pressure;
    • See patient conditions such as skin color, work of breathing; read small print and calibration on equipment; perceive color;
    • Communicate goals and procedures to patients in English;
    • Read typed, handwritten, computer information in English; and
    • Write and communicate pertinent information (patient assessment, outcome assessments) in English.
  • Mental Attitude
    • Function safely, effectively and calmly under stressful situations;
    • Maintain composure and concentration while managing multiple tasks simultaneously;
    • Prioritize multiple tasks;
    • Demonstrate social skills (respectfulness, politeness, discretion) necessary to interact with patients, families, coworkers of the same or different cultures — and to work as a team;
    • Maintain personal hygiene consistent with close contact during direct patient care;
    • Display the actions and attitudes consistent with ethical standards of the profession; and
    • Understand the potential for exposure to blood borne pathogens.

Admission Requirements

Students who meet all admission requirements are accepted in the Respiratory Care program on a space available basis at any time. Those who do not initially qualify for the program may become eligible through BCC’s Health Sciences program in Pre-RSP. 

Admission Requirements Include:

  • Reading and writing competency at a college level as shown through the Accuplacer assessment, or by completion of a college composition class;
  • Completion of the Respiratory Care Matriculation Form
  • Completion of MAT-136 or MAT-102 (or MAT-102C);
  • Within five years completion of college chemistry (CHM- 150 or CHM-101) or one year of college preparatory chemistry with a grade of C (73) or better;
  • Within five years completion of college preparatory or college-level biology or anatomy and physiology with a grade of C (73) or better;
  • Graduation from high school with an average of B(80 percent) or ranked in the upper third of the graduating class; or completion of a minimum of 10 credits of college level respiratory care support courses (C+ or better); and

  • All students entering the Respiratory Care program must be immunized (or be in process) by August 1 prior to the academic year for which they are seeking admission.

BCC will not admit students concurrently into any two of the following degree or certificate programs: Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Care, LPN or Nursing.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Practice as advanced-level respiratory care practitioners;
  • Demonstrate professional behavior consistent with employer expectations;
  • Comprehend, apply and evaluate clinical information relevant to their roles as advanced level respiratory care practitioners;
  • Critically think and problem solve;
  • Promote a team approach to patient care and interact with all health workers; and
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing and practice therapeutic communication.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete all program and general education credits, plus the following Additional Requirements.

Program Courses

AHS-121Essentials of Pharmacology

3

AHS-230Pathophysiology

3

BIO-201Anatomy & Physiology I

4

BIO-202Anatomy & Physiology II

4

BIO-207Microbiology

4

RSP-105Respiratory Care I: Theory & Practice

7

RSP-107Respiratory Care Practicum

2

RSP-205Respiratory Care II: Theory & Practice

7

RSP-207Respiratory Care III: Theory & Practice

8

RSP-241Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology

2

Total Credit Hours:44

General Education Courses

CHM-Chemistry

3

COM-Communication

3

ENG-English Composition/Writing

6

MAT-Mathematics

3

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

-General Education Elective

3

Total Credit Hours:21

CHM Chemistry: See footnote 1
COM Communication: See footnote 2
ENG English Composition/Writing: See footnote 3
MAT Mathematics: See footnote 4
General Education Elective: See footnote 5

Additional Requirements

Core Competencies Portfolio 4 items
FORUM 4 units
Health/Fitness 30 hours
Minimum grade required in each RSP course 2.000

Minimum Cumulative Average

Overall 2.000
Program requirements (RSP courses) 2.000

Health/Fitness: See footnote 6

Suggested Pathway to Graduation

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student’s individual needs.

First Semester

BIO-201Anatomy & Physiology I

4

CHM-Chemistry

3

ENG-English Composition/Writing

3

MAT-Mathematics

3

-Behavioral & Social Science

3

Total Credit Hours:16

CHM Chemistry: See footnote 1
ENG English Composition/Writing: See footnote 3
MAT Mathematics: See footnote 4

Second Semester

AHS-121Essentials of Pharmacology

3

BIO-202Anatomy & Physiology II

4

RSP-105Respiratory Care I: Theory & Practice

7

ENG-English Composition/Writing

3

Total Credit Hours:17

ENG English Composition/Writing: See footnote 3

Summer Session

RSP-107Respiratory Care Practicum

2

Total Credit Hours:2

Third Semester

AHS-230Pathophysiology

3

BIO-207Microbiology

4

RSP-205Respiratory Care II: Theory & Practice

7

RSP-241Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology

2

Total Credit Hours:16

Fourth Semester

RSP-207Respiratory Care III: Theory & Practice

8

COM-Communication

3

-General Education Elective

3

Total Credit Hours:14

Footnotes

  1. Chemistry chosen from CHM-150 or higher level.
  2. Communication chosen from COM-105 or COM-107.
  3. English Composition/Writing chosen from ENG-101 and ENG-102, or ENG-103 and ENG-104.
  4. Mathematics at a level of MAT-136 or MAT-102 (or MAT-102C), or at a higher level prior to matriculation in the Respiratory Care program.
  5. General Education Elective chosen from History, Humanities and Fine Arts, or Environmental Studies.
  6. Fulfilled by successful completion of RSP-105.

Notes

Berkshire Community College seeks to provide equal access to its pro- grams, services and activities for people with disabilities. Therefore, to the extent practicable, the College will endeavor to make a reason- able academic adjustment for an applicant with a disability who is otherwise qualified.

There are specific sensory, motor and psychosocial skills needed to successfully complete the Respiratory Care program. Any student who feels he/she will require accommodations with these skills should contact the coordinator of the Services for Students with Disabilities program.