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Respiratory Therapy
General Information

Respiratory therapy, or respiratory care, is an allied health profession specializing in cardiopulmonary disorders and diseases. A respiratory therapist can be instrumental in assisting a physician in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide spectrum of disorders affecting the heart and lungs.

There are two levels of therapists in respiratory care: certified respiratory therapists (CRT) and registered respiratory therapists (RRT).

A certified respiratory therapist is the entry-level position in the field and requires a minimum of an associate’s degree to be a candidate for the CRT board exam. CRTs typically work with less critically ill patients in a hospital, long-term care facility or home care environmenat. Currently this level of Respiratory Care is being phased out at the national level and there are no programs graduating new CRT level therapists after 2012.

A registered respiratory therapist is an advanced-level position in the field and requires a two or four-year degree program. RRTs work in all locations available to a respiratory therapist and are more likely to be in positions of supervision than a CRT.

Monroe County Community College has the RRT program at the associate’s degree level. Graduates who complete the registered therapist program are able to assume positions of advanced practitioners in less time than a four-year degree therapist. Graduates of the RRT program at MCCC exceed the national averages for success on board exams. Future employment of registered respiratory therapists is considered excellent nationwide, as well as in Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio.

The Monroe County Community College respiratory therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas

2012 Respiratory Therapy On-Site Accreditation Visit Information


Graduate therapists are prepared to:

  • Assume basic or advanced respiratory care positions in hospitals, nursing homes, subacute care centers, pulmonary rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, home care companies, asthma clinics, sleep disorders laboratories, pulmonary function laboratories, hyperbaris oxygen departments, research, doctor's offices, and medical sales.
  • Continue higher education, if desired.