Respiratory Therapy is the health care discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function and health. Respiratory therapists apply scientific principles to prevent, identify, and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Their knowledge of the scientific principles underlying cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, as well as biomedical engineering and technology, enable them to effectively assess, educate, and treat patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists are involved in many specialty areas such as: Adult Intensive Care; Neonatal and Pediatric ICU; Pulmonary Function Laboratory; Sleep Laboratory; Home Care; Rehabilitation; Ground and air critical care transport.
The Respiratory Therapy program at Northwest Tech is designed to provide you with the necessary skills and related technical information to work as an entry-level therapist in the medical field. The curriculum is directly related to career standards and employment opportunities. Instruction includes both lab and classroom situations with the emphasis on clinical components.
The Northwest Kansas Technical College Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com). Accreditation is a status that provides assurance to prospective students, their families and the general public that the Northwest Tech Respiratory Therapy program meets Accreditation Standards and that there are reasonable grounds to believe the or program will continue to meet those standards in the future.
For more information, contact COARC at:
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244
817-354-8519 (Plain Paper Fax)
817-510-1063 (Fax to E-mail)
Outcome Threshold Report:
A huge part of any education at Northwest Tech is hands-on experience. In the second, third, and fourth semesters of Northwest Tech Respiratory Therapy program students are required to attend off-campus clinicals. A student will be scheduled for roughly seven clinicals per required semester, equaling a total of about 21 clinical rotations over three semesters. There is some variability in a student’s clinical rotations; a rotation may be scheduled as multiple night shifts, 8-hour shifts, 12-hour shifts, or something other depending on clinical location. Clinicals sites may be located throughout Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.
Students should be aware that all transportation and lodging costs associated with the Respiratory Therapy clinicals are the student’s responsibility. Moreover, many clinical rotations are scheduled during weekends.
During Respiratory Therapy clinical rotations you will work in medical institutions with real, living patients suffering from actual medical issues. Students must understand that they may encounter urgent and serious medical situations, and be prepared both technically and mentally to do so.
The Northwest Tech Respiratory Therapy program will prepare you to take the Certified Respiratory Therapy Exam (CRT) and the Registered Respiratory Therapy Exam (RRT). Generally students will take these exams in their final semester.
The Entry-Level CRT Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of entry-level respiratory therapists. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions distributed among three major content areas: clinical data, equipment, and therapeutic procedures. The CRT credential is a prerequisite for admission to the Registry Examination.
The Registry Examination System was developed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of advanced respiratory therapists, and to set uniform standards for measuring such knowledge. The RRT Examinations consist of a written portion and a clinical simulation portion.
For more information, contact a Northwest Tech Respiratory Therapy instructor or the National Board of Respiratory Care:
NBRC Executive Office
18000 W. 105th Street
Olathe, KS 66061-7543
- Demonstrate professionalism.
- Apply standard medical terminology to define and translate common medical terms.
- Demonstrate knowledge of laws, theories, concepts and/or principles to clinical situations.
- Demonstrate basic patient assessment skills to include vital signs, breath sounds, palpation, percussion, and patient interview.
- Identify and explain the functions of anatomical structures.
- Demonstrate laboratory and clinical proficiency in selection, assembly, application, monitoring, and troubleshooting various pieces of respiratory therapy equipment.
- Demonstrate mathematical and reasoning skills.
- Demonstrate effective reading, writing, speaking, listening, and time management skills.
|Anatomy & Physiology||5|
|TOTAL PRE-REQUISITE CREDITS||8|
|First Year, First Semester||Credits|
|Patient Assessment & Planning||3|
|Respiratory Care Sciences||4|
|Respiratory Therapy I||4|
|Beginning Algebra (required)||3|
|Total Semester Credits||20|
|Pre-Algebra (if required)||3|
|First Year, Second Semester||Credits|
|Respiratory Care Pharmacology||4|
|Cardiopulmonary Pathology & Treatment||3|
|Clinical Practice I||6|
|English Composition I||3|
|Total Semester Credits||16|
|Fundamentals of Writing (if required)||3|
|Second Year, First Semester||Credits|
|Respiratory Therapy II||4|
|Respiratory Therapy II Lab||1|
|Clinical Practice II||6|
|Total Semester Credits||14|
|Second Year, Second Semester||Credits|
|Respiratory Therapy III||4|
|Respiratory Therapy III Lab||1|
|Respiratory Therapy IV||4|
|Clinical Practice III||6|
|Respiratory Care Seminar||3|
|Total Semester Credits||18|
|Total Program Credits||68|
**Ten (10) credit hours of approved general education courses are required to receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medical Assistant. A student can opt to not take the ten credit hours of general education coursework and instead earn a Technical Certificate C in Medical Assisting if they so choose.
Carrie Whitcomb, BSRT, RRT
Respiratory Therapy Instructor/Program Director
Phone: (785) 890-1581
Bryce Chatfield, RRT
Director of Clinical Education
Phone: (785) 890-1580
Tracy Ostmeyer, RRT
Phone: (785) 890-1582
The projected job outlook for respiratory therapists is excellent. Career opportunities for respiratory therapists are expected to grow 28% from 2010-2020. This is a higher than the national average for all jobs, which is between 10 and 19%.
In 2011, Northwest Tech’s Respiratory Therapy program had 100% placement rate; meaning every graduate was employed once they graduated.
Below is a list of items Northwest Tech’s Admissions Team will need prior to your acceptance into the program.
- A Northwest Tech Application Completed and Submitted
- $25 Application Fee Paid
- High School or GED Transcript Submitted
- (If Applicable) College Transcript Submitted
- ACT or Compass Scores Submitted (Compass Testing can be scheduled on-site at the Northwest Tech campus)
- Background Check Completed
- Certificate of Health Submitted
Additional Respiratory Therapy Required Items
Because of the nature of a Respirtatory Therapist’s work, as well as the limited number of students accepted into the program (15 per year), there are additional items required for admittance into the Northwest Tech Respirtaory Therapy program.
- Two Letters of Reference
- A Personal Statement Letter
- A Copy of Your Immunization Record
- An Annual TB Test
- An Annual Flu Shot
The above-listed required items can be submitted in person at the Northwest Tech campus, via postal mail addressed to: Northwest Tech Admissions, 1209 Harrison, Goodland, KS, or through email communications with firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final step before acceptance into the Northwest Tech Respirtaory Therapy program is a short personal interview with an instructor. Interviews will be scheduled with perspective students by the instructor.
Associate of Applied Science
- Dr. Kali Rubenthaler, DO
Program Medical Director
- Marlyce Campbell
Trego County Lemke Memorial Hospital
- Michelle Carpenter, RN
- Alan David, MICT
- Chris Fulwider, RRT
Goodland Regional Medical Center
- Kim Horenik, RRT
Goodland Regional Medical Center
- Jason Johnson, RRT
Cheyenne County Hospital
- Kevin Johnson, RRT
Citizen’s Medical Center
- Isidro Morales, CRT
Scott County Hospital
- Lynnette Pfannenstiel, RRT
Hays Medical Center
- LaDonna Sauer, CRT, RPSGT
St. Catherine Hospital
- Colleen Smith
- Dana Wilkening, RRT
University of Colorado