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The Bachelor of Science Program in Respiratory Therapy is a 2+2 program, meaning the student completes the first two years at any accredited college or university of choice, and the last two years on GRU’s campus. All 2+2 students begin the program fall semester after completing a core curriculum. GRU’s program consists of five semesters and includes classroom and clinical education.
The percentage of respiratory therapists with higher degrees has increased considerably since 1992. In 2005, nearly one-third of all respiratory therapists had a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree are highly marketable for lucrative positions.
Respiratory Therapy: A Life-and-Breath Career
Respiratory therapists treat patients with cardiopulmonary disease and other disorders requiring life-support technologies. Patients range from newborns to the elderly. In the hospital, respiratory therapists assist physicians by assessing the patient’s condition, planning and initiating treatment and providing patient education. Treatments include oxygen and humidity therapy, chest physical therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and state-of-the-art life support technologies. Respiratory therapists also obtain and analyze arterial blood samples to evaluate and optimize patient oxygenation and ventilation and evaluate cardiopulmonary function using specialized equipment.
A Multi-Skilled Profession
Respiratory therapy requires manual skills and a broad range of cognitive capabilities. Respiratory therapists’ relative autonomy demands a high degree of responsibility and professionalism. Their significant patient contact requires empathy, interpersonal skills, communication and the ability to collect, evaluate and synthesize patient information. Therapies are based on strong patient assessment, highly technical skills requiring good manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude to perform them safely and acceptably.
Related interests may include physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and radiologic sciences.
GRU graduates are eligible to take national credentialing exams from the National Board for Respiratory Care, leading to designations of certified and registered respiratory therapist, certified and registered pulmonary function technologist and competency recognition as a perinatal/pediatric respiratory care specialist and certified asthma educator. These credentials are recognized nationally and internationally. First-time pass rates for GRU graduates are well above the national average.
Most respiratory therapists work in acute-care hospitals, but roles outside the traditional work setting are rapidly growing. Career opportunities include education, research and patient care in clinics, skilled nursing or long-term acutecare facilities and physicians’ offices. Therapists with a bachelor’s degree can work as disease or case managers, clinical educators, supervisors, departmental directors, medical equipment marketers, clinical or education specialists and pharmaceutical representatives.
Because of an acute shortage of registered therapists, the job market is excellent. The number of full-time employee positions has increased by over 20,000 since 2000, according to the American Association for Respiratory Care.
Registered therapists assume considerable responsibility and command high salaries. The mean annual salary for respiratory therapists in 2005 was $56,160. The mean salary for experienced respiratory therapists ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 depending on job responsibilities, education and location. Private industry offers particularly lucrative career opportunities.
Admission is based on college grade point average, completion of the 60-hour academic core from a regionally accredited institution, personal interview, references and assessment of professional qualities needed to complete the program. Admission criteria include:
- Minimum overall GPA of 2.30
- Current cardiopulmonary and first aid certification
- Minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper based, 213 computer-based or 79 Internet-based
- Completion of the CPR for Professional Rescuers course is strongly recommended
- Job shadowing is required prior to enrollment. Shadowing in critical care is recommended
- Computer literacy is expected
For information on the TSE-P, please visit http://www.ets.org/tse.
In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards. Visit www.gru.edu/alliedhealth/respther/techstandards.htm to review these requirements
GRU participates in all federal student aid programs as well as state and private programs. Educational assistance may be available for students who want to work in rural Georgia. GRU helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.
GRU students are very competitive for national, regional and local scholarships for the first and second year.
Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
When to Apply
This is a transfer program that requires applicants to attend another accredited college or university to complete the core curriculum. Sophomores can apply for transfer admission to GRU. Accepted applicants will transfer fall semester to begin their junior year.
Applications received on or before April 1 will be given priority consideration. Applications must be received by April 1.
How to Apply
Apply online at www.gru.edu/Admissions, or contact:
Office of Academic Admissions
170 Kelly Building–Administration
Georgia Regents University
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Courses to Take the First Two Years
The program’s core curriculum is divided into six categories (A-F). The options for completing these prerequisites for transfer to GRU are listed below. Courses can only be used in one Area.
|A. Essential Skills
||9 semester hours
|English Composition I
|English Composition II (literature-based)
|College Algebra, Mathematical Modeling, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus or Calculus
|B. Institutional Options**
||4-5 semester hours
|Introduction to Computers
Health and Wellness
Any approved guided elective from Area F
|C. Humanities and Fine Arts**
||6 semester hours
Speech, Oral Communications
Drama, Art, or Music Appreciation
Electives in Humanities and Fine Arts
|D. Science, Mathematics and Technology
||10-11 semester hours
|One eight-hour laboratory course sequence in Chemistry, Biology, or Physics AND an additional course in Science, Mathematics, or technology
|E. Social Science**
||12 semester hours
|United States History
United States Government
Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
Lower-division electives in Psychology and Sociology
|F. Courses Appropriate to the Major
||18 semester hours
|Anatomy and Physiology I and II w/ labs
|Microbiology w/ lab
|Other approved guided electives
** If a student planning to transfer to GRU from another school in the University System of Georgia has completed this area with courses taken there or at another institution from which GRU accepts transfer credit, GRU will accept the area as satisfied. A student planning to transfer from a school not in the University System of Georgia should choose from the list of courses.
Estimated Tuition and Fees
For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Tuition and Fee Information for students who matriculated to GHSU section of this catalog.