Respiratory Care, Butte College

AS Degree in Respiratory Care                                   60 Units Minimum

The Respiratory Care program is designed to prepare students to become licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners in the state of California. In addition, the program prepares the successful graduate to participate in the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

Respiratory care practitioners are highly skilled allied health professionals involved in the therapy, management, rehabilitation, diagnostic evaluation and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities that affect the cardiopulmonary system. They are employed in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, physician’s offices, home health agencies, specialized care hospitals, medical equipment supply companies, diagnostic laboratories, and patients’ homes. They may further specialize in such areas as adult critical care, neonatal or pediatric intensive care, pulmonary function testing, transport medicine, hyperbaric medicine, home care, management or education.

Graduates practicing in California are required to take a state licensure examination. *Note: A person convicted of any offense other than a minor traffic

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a solid professional and general medical knowledge
  • Demonstrate self-direction and responsibility for his/her own
  • Display respect for beliefs and values of all persons regardless of cultural background, religion, age, or
  • Accurately interpret pertinent clinical information from medical records and physical
  • Recommend appropriate therapeutic interventions based on physiological data and patient assessment
  • Demonstrate sound clinical judgment and is proficient in the clinical skills required on the
  • Competently perform the therapeutic procedures and modalities, and diagnostic procedures required on the
  • Demonstrate efficient performance of an overall patient
  • Demonstrate effective oral and communication
  • Exhibit ethical and professional manners, including timely and prepared entrance to clinic and contributing to a positive work
  • Function effectively as a member of the health care team, accepts supervision and works effectively with supervisory

Required courses for the major: 92 – 93 Units

Important Note: All courses, including major, prerequisites, General Education and Competencies, used to fulfill a requirement for this degree must be completed with a C grade or better.

Prerequisites for admission to the program

CHEM 110              Introductory Chemistry                                   4

(or other college level CHEM course)

MATH 108              Beginning Algebra (P)                                  4


MATH 124             Intermediate Algebra (5) (P)


MATH Level V

BIOL 15                   Introduction to Microbiology (P)                    5

BIOL 20                   Human Anatomy                                   4

BIOL 21                   Human Physiology (P)                                   4

Additional courses required for completion of the program

The following courses may be taken prior to or during the program: however, completing any of these courses prior to admission will significantly reduce the student’s workload while in the program.

ENGL                       2 Reading and Composition (P) 3

GE Requirement-Area C: 3 Units                      3

PSY 1 P                    rinciples of Psychology                    3

CMST 2                   Public Speaking                                   3

or CMST 2H           Honors Public Speaking                                   (3)

or CMST 4              Small Group Communication                                   (3)

KIN Activity Courses: 2 courses                                   2

Admission to the Program

Requirements for Admission: Age 17 years or older and all prerequisites completed (with a ‘C’ grade or better).

Prior to being officially admitted to the program students must pass a background check, drug screening, and physical exam, and verify their physical ability to perform the tasks required of a Respiratory Therapist.

Students are admitted by application only. Contact the Health Occupations office or visit for application dates and materials.

Admission to the program is based on academic and general requirements. In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces in the program, a computerized lottery will be used to select the individuals to be enrolled.

Estimated expenses average about $4,500 – $5,000 for the entire program, including licensure. Financial aid may be available to qualified students.