Spend time with Respiratory Therapy students
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"The job market is fantastic. A lot of the second-year students already have jobs lined up. Wherever you want to work, you can get a job." — Megan Dragonette

About this Career

Respiratory therapists help people who have difficulty breathing because of illness or injury including heart failure, chest trauma, asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, SIDS, near drowning, excessive bleeding and shock.

The patients of respiratory therapists are found in newborn nurseries, surgical and medical units, emergency rooms, outpatient departments, intensive care units(newborn, pediatric and adult), extended-care facilities, and other alternate care facilities, pulmonary function laboratories, cardiopulmonary exercise stress test laboratories, homes, rehabilitation facilities, and ground as well as helicopter or fixed-wing rescues/transports.

Respiratory therapists treat patients by using: ventilators, medical gas, humidity, aerosols, intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB), bronchopulmonary drainage and exercises and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Respiratory therapists must also be able to administer:

  • mechanical ventilation
  • airway management
  • pulmonary-function studies
  • blood-gas analysis
  • cardiopulmonary monitoring
  • exercise testing and physiological monitoring.

Since any one of these can alter a patient's physiological state, respiratory therapists must be highly skilled in physiology and pathophysiology.

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Degree Program at Upstate

for students who want to become respiratory therapists and earn the credential of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

The program accepts 20 students each year.

Graduates are eligible to take both Entry Level and Advanced Practitioner Examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc., passage of which meets the licensure requirements in all states including New York.

The 21 month Bachelor of Science program prepares the student for entry-level as well as advanced level practice. The coursework is designed specifically to help prepare respiratory therapists to become not only excellent bedside respiratory therapists who are prepared to work in a wide variety of Respiratory Care specialties but also leaders in education, management and research - one of the distinct and measurable advantages of a bachelor's degree vs. an associate's degree.

Our program has a long tradition of producing excellent respiratory therapists who have superb critical thinking and bedside care skills who are highly valued by employers across the United States. This tradition continues through an ever-evolving, cutting-edge curriculum and collegial mentoring with our program faculty as well as other college and campus faculty.

Upstate provides a very high quality education through valuable experiences & opportunities through our expert faculty, state-of-the-art equipment and classrooms, and excellent clinical experience through our many exceptional clinical rotations. Program graduates continue to be promoted to and thrive in such leadership positions as:

• inservice educational coordinators in hospital service departments
• staff supervisors/coordinators
• directors of hospital service departments, home care companies and sleep laboratories
• managers and educators in home care and alternative care institutions
• faculty in respiratory care educational programs
• clinical instructors/preceptors in various clinical settings
• hospital administrators at the presidential and vice-presidential levels
• cardiopulmonary and pharmaceutical research coordinators
• medical company education specialists