School of Nursing and Health Professions

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists deliver care that helps people manage a wide range of breathing problems caused by disease, accident, or illness. Whenever and wherever breathing is an issue, respiratory therapists are there to provide care. Respiratory therapists work in hospitals or other acute care settings or are employed in clinics, physicians’ offices, or skilled nursing facilities. The respiratory therapy program prepares graduates who can demonstrate the attitudes, skills, and knowledge relevant to their role as registered respiratory therapists. Respiratory Therapists apply scientific principles to prevent, identify, and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Respiratory care includes the assessment, treatment, management, control, diagnostic evaluation, education, and care of patients with deficiencies of the cardiopulmonary system.

Under instructor supervision, students provide patient care in a variety of healthcare settings in VT, NY, and NH.  All students are required to travel to hospital sites at a distance from their local site.

Graduates are eligible to apply to take the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

Programmatic outcomes are defined by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244; (817) 283-2835.

A student with an Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy will be able to:

  1. Collect, review, and evaluate clinical data to determine the appropriateness of the prescribed respiratory care plan and participate in its development
  2. Initiate, conduct, and modify prescribed therapeutic procedures to achieve the desired objectives
  3. Assemble, check function, correct malfunctions, and perform quality control of respiratory therapy equipment
  4. Acquire knowledge by questioning, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information
  5. Use numbers and formulate relationships between them to analyze, interpret, and develop appropriate strategies for respiratory care
  6. Work together with other professionals on the health care team in a manner that fosters mutual respect and facilitates the effective handling of patient care issues
  7. Completely document patient care sessions in the medical record in a concise and legible manner following a problem-oriented format and using the SOAP or other generally accepted notation
  8. Write clear, coherent, and comprehensive laboratory and clinical case reports
  9. Communicate with clients, family members of clients, and members of the healthcare team using appropriate verbal and nonverbal skills
  10. Inform the practice of respiratory care by actively seeking new knowledge from colleagues, clients, the community, and related educational research
  11. Expand the role of the respiratory therapist as an essential member of the healthcare team
  12. Practice respiratory care effectively in a variety of cultural contexts
  13. Be aware of the ethical dimension of healthcare and strive to understand and maintain the highest personal and professional standards

Graduates are eligible to attempt the credential examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Upon successful completion of the credential exams, graduates receive the Registered Respiratory Therapist credential.

Credentialed respiratory therapists must apply for licensure to practice in Vermont and New Hampshire. The offices of professional regulation require information regarding past history of substance abuse, prior felony convictions, and failure to pay child support or taxes to determine eligibility. Other states requiring licensure for practice may ask similar questions. For more information, please refer to the Vermont Secretary of State or the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification.

All BIO and RSP courses must be completed with a grade of C or better to continue in the program.

Curriculum Details


Job Projections

Respiratory Therapist
That Translates Into



Projected Employment Growth for Respiratory Therapists, 2018-2028 (source: BLS). National data: Job openings for all occupations (source: BLS)

Placement Rate






Vermont Tech data: 6 Month Outcome Survey, Class of 2019. National Data: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) First Destinations for the College Class of 2018 (October 2018)


  • Albany Medical Center
  • Central Vermont Medical Center
  • CPVH Medical Center
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Fairfax Rescue
  • Rutland Regional Medical Center
  • University of Vermont Medical Center

Job Titles

  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Medical Assistant
  • EMT

Zachary Kern

  • I started in phlebotomy
  • Vermont Tech is in a great location for me
  • I'm a crucial member of the health team at DHMC
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  • 19

    by Zoe Newmarco Vermont Technical College President Pat Moulton’s goals for the Randolph Center campus raised eyebrows, when a WCAX report quoted her as planning to “shrink” VTC’s footprint in Randolph Center while expanding the Williston campus. Moulton explained that her comment came in relation to a plan VTC administrators are working on to develop as part of a Vermont…

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  • 16

    On the heels of its national ranking in the 96th percentile for return on investment, Vermont Tech is pleased to announce that the Class of 2019 achieved a 99% placement rate as demonstrated in the 6-Month Outcomes Survey. The college ranks first in the state for return on investment, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce…

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William Guillen

  • I enjoy helping people
  • I took a break between high school and college
  • I play baseball in my free time
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Kate Morrison

  • I learned alongside students with similar goals.
  • I’m excited by the fast pace of respiratory therapy.
  • I found a job right away at University of Vermont Medical Center.
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