Respiratory Care

Our graduates get jobs. The increase in chronic pulmonary diseases and healthcare industry growth assures continued employment for graduates. Develop your skills and ability to help people breathe. Make a difference in someone’s life! The BAS in RC is unique. It is the only program in Eastern Washington.

Bachelor of Applied Science Respiratory Care

If you enjoy helping people and would like to work in healthcare, respiratory care might be for you. Respiratory care practitioners (RCPs) assess, diagnose, treat, and educate patients with cardiopulmonary disease. RCPs also manage ventilators and artificial airways, perform sophisticated diagnostic testing, and consult with physicians and other healthcare personnel to optimize a patient’s cardiopulmonary function.

Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Applied Science in Respiratory Care (BASRC). This program will prepare graduates to create advanced treatment plans, provide critical care patient management, and demonstrate skills in communication, critical thinking, and leadership.

Whether you want to work for a hospital (intensive care unit, emergency room, medical/surgical, etc.), doctor’s office (pulmonary function testing), home care agency, or rehabilitation institute respiratory care may be the career for you.

This program is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com). Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835. Program outcomes data including retention, job placement, NBRC examination success, on-time graduation rates, and enrollment may be accessed through their Programmatic Outcomes Data page.

Program Details

Obtain an Application

Admission to the BAS Respiratory Care program occurs once annually, with the deadline being June 20 of each year. Courses begin in the fall term.

Bachelor of Applied Respiratory Care Application (ccs 7308)


General Education

The following general education courses must be completed prior to entry into the professional part of the BAS respiratory care program. All general education courses must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Class NumberClass NameCredits
BIOL&160General Biology w/Lab5
BIOL&241Human Anatomy & Physiology w/Lab5
BIOL&242Human Anatomy & Physiology w/Lab5
BIOL&260Microbiology w/Lab5
CHEM&121General Chemistry w/Lab5
CMST&227Intercultural Communications5
ENGL&101English Composition5
ENGL&235Technical Writing5
Total Credits45

Work/Volunteer Experience

A minimum of 100 – 150 hours of work/volunteer experience in healthcare is required. Documentation of that experience through time sheets or verification of hours by a supervisor is required.

Two Professional Letters of Reference

Two professional letters of reference are required.

Personal Interview

Candidates who have completed the general education, work/volunteer experience and have submitted their letters of reference will be invited to a personal interview. The interview consists of two panels composed of BAS faculty, clinical faculty, clinical supervisors and members of the respiratory care program’s advisory committee. Each interview should take approximately 30 minutes for a total of 60 minutes.

Competitive Admission

Admission to the professional program is competitive. It is important that you present yourself and your documentation in a professional way. We appreciate and are grateful for your interest in the profession of respiratory care.

Selection Rubric

General Education GPA50%
Personal Interview25%
Work/Volunteer Experience15%
Reference Letters10%

Additional Requirements

Please familiarize yourself with the additional information about requirements for this program.


Spokane Community College main campus. Clinical rotations occur in Spokane area healthcare facilities.


The following classes show some of the main courses that make up the Respiratory Care program.
  • RT 311 - Critical Care I Technical Skills Lab

    This course introduces the technical skills required to care for an adult critically ill patient in need of life support systems. Topics will include ventilator selection, airway management, and the application of non-invasive and invasive mechanical ventilation. Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous term.

  • RT 401 - Pediatrics/Neonatal RT

    This course introduces the unique aspects of dealing with the newborn, from delivery room intervention, patient assessment, oxygenation and ventilation needs, airway management, medication delivery, disease states and conditions, non-invasive and invasive ventilation and monitoring along with resuscitation techniques and practices. Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous term.

  • RT 415 - Disease Management

    This course will introduce the student to contemporary disease management. Topics will include prevalent conditions among high risk patients, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) standard, National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), CardioSmart guidelines for congestive heart failure (CHF), and the management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous term.

  • RT 423 - Advanced Pulmonary Diagnostics Clinical

    In this course the student will demonstrate pulmonary function techniques including airway resistance measurement, bronchial provocation, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, indirect calorimetry, bronchoscopy assisting and sleep diagnostics in the acute care setting. Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous term.

View program course list

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities include
  • Acute Care Hospitals
  • Long Term Acute Care Facilities
  • Sub-Acute Care Facilities
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Home Care Companies
  • Physician Offices

A few graduates continue their education becoming physician assistants or applying to medical schools.

Technical Standards

Technical standards represent the non-academic demands associated with the Respiratory Care discipline. These standards result from information obtained from industry sources, instructional faculty, and published occupational references. Successful program completion is, in part, contingent upon students' ability to meet the physical and cognitive demands represented by these standards.

General Job Description: Utilizes the application of scientific principles for the identification, prevention, remediation, research, and rehabilitation of acute or chronic cardiopulmonary dysfunction thereby producing optimum health and function. Reviews existing data, collects additional data, and recommends obtaining data to evaluate the respiratory status of patients, develop the respiratory care plan, and determine the appropriateness of the prescribed therapy. Initiates, conducts, and modifies prescribed therapeutic and diagnostic procedures such as: administering medical gases, resuscitation; providing support services to mechanically ventilated patients; maintaining artificial and natural airways; performing pulmonary function testing, hemodynamic monitoring and other physiologic monitoring; collecting specimens of blood and other materials. Documents necessary information in the patient's medical record and on other forms, and communicates that information to members of the health care team. Obtains, assembles, calibrates, and checks necessary equipment. Uses problem solving to identify and correct malfunctions of respiratory care equipment. Demonstrates appropriate interpersonal skills to work productively with patients, families, staff, and co-workers. Accepts directives, maintains confidentiality, does not discriminate, and upholds the ethical standards of the profession.

Physical Standards:

  • Lift/carry objects such as portable ventilators and battery packs weighing up to 40 lbs. frequently; assist moving or repositioning patients with or without assistance. Patients may weigh in excess of 300 lbs. and weight lifted may be in excess of 100 lbs. occasionally.
  • Stand/walk for prolonged periods of time with only occasional sitting. Walking is generally on hard surfaces and occasionally involves stairs.
  • Bend and twist frequently and intermittently for prolonged periods of time. Some degree of bending and twisting is involved with nearly every task.
  • Kneel, stoop, and crouch occasionally when performing such tasks as adjusting equipment, plugging in electrical equipment, or performing CPR.
  • Push/pull large wheeled equipment such as ventilator machines weighing in excess of 200 lbs.
  • Manual and finger dexterity sufficient to manipulate patients and equipment; grasp syringes, laryngoscope, and endotracheal tubes; handle small and large equipment for storing, retrieving, and moving; manipulate knobs and dials; and assemble, disassemble, correct malfunctions, perform maintenance and evaluate various pieces of medical equipment.
  • Extend arms downward, outward, or upward.
  • Auditory ability sufficient to hear verbal instructions, hear gas flow through equipment, and perceive warning signals.
  • Visual acuity sufficient to read typed, handwritten, or computer information; see patient conditions such as skin color, work of breathing, and mist flowing through the tubing; and accurately read gauges, dial settings, and digital and analog displays.
  • Physical tolerance to a clinical environment that may include noisy conditions, crowded conditions, sterile surroundings, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and exposure to chemicals/solvents.

Cognitive and Behavioral Standards:

  • Calculate, analyze, interpret, and record numbers and physical data accurately from observation, charts, radiology screens, and computer information systems.
  • Apply theory to clinical practice, maintaining competence under challenging and sometimes stressful situations.
  • Communicate effectively, utilizing written and spoken English when interacting with patients, their families, and other health care professionals.
  • Interact professionally and effectively with patients, families, and coworkers as a health care team member.
  • Carry out orders accurately and in a timely manner.
  • Function safely, effectively, and calmly under stressful situations.
  • Prioritize effectively and maintain composure while managing multiple tasks.
  • Accept and apply constructive criticism.
  • Maintain a positive and constructive manner with peers, coworkers, and instructors.

Persons with Disabilities

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, accommodations for students with disabilities will be considered at the student's request. The student will be required to register with the Disability Support Services office and provide documentation of disability. Once the student is qualified by the DSS Manager as having a disability, requested accommodations will be considered. Accommodations for the classroom, laboratory, or clinical setting will be considered according to reasonableness. Accommodations that compromise patient care, or that fundamentally alter the nature of the program or activity, are not considered to be reasonable. A student denied accommodation may request an individualized determination to assure that the denial is not a result of disability discrimination by contacting the Manager of Disability Support Services and Testing at 533-7498. Contact the SCC Disability Support Services office to obtain a copy of the procedures for appeal of an accommodation denial. Other than accommodation issues, procedures for student grievances including academic dismissal are outlined in the following SCC website: Addressing Student Concerns.

For additional information, please contact Disability Support Services.