Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care


Program Description

One of the most challenging areas of patient care is cardiopulmonary disorders, which places respiratory therapists at the forefront of health care. Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences prepares men and women from culturally and ethnically diverse communities for a career as respiratory therapists. Graduates from our program are prepared to work in hospitals, emergency departments, intensive care units, neonatal intensive care units, diagnostic laboratories, offices, clinics, long-term care facilities, and homes.

The Profession

The tasks of Respiratory Therapists vary depending on the needs of their patients and the level of care needed. However, typical responsibilities include:

  • Performance of cardiopulmonary diagnostic tests and arterial blood gas analysis
  • Assessment of disruptive sleep patterns
  • Administration of certain medications, medical gases, aerosol and humidity therapy, hyperinflation therapy, bronchial hygiene and positive pressure ventilation
  • Maintenance of lung inflation and airway hygiene
  • Operation of highly sophisticated equipment
  • Performance of CPR and application of life support technology.
  • Evaluation of patient responses to therapy

Program Philosophy

The Respiratory Care Program prepares students to become competent respiratory therapists who display excellence in both performance and attitude. The specialized nature of Respiratory Care requires not only a technical expertise but also a humane, empathetic and professional behavior directed toward patients and their care. Respiratory Care students are expected to strive for excellence in the classroom, laboratory and in their clinical practice.

The Program

The 75-semester hour degree curriculum includes 51-semester credits in respiratory care and 24-semester credits in general education. General education courses promote the practice of oral and written communication skills and utilization of human and social awareness to promote reflective thinking and problem-solving. Application of general education knowledge is an expectation for today's health care graduates and professionals.

The dedicated curriculum prepares the graduate to practice as a registered respiratory therapist. The curriculum is primarily sequential, combining theory classes and clinical experience to facilitate mastering the learning process.

Students are assigned clinical health sciences experiences using the facilities of Trinity Regional Health System and other health institutions within the bi-state area. The affiliation with Trinity Medical Center provides students access to Trinity campuses in Rock Island, Moline, and Bettendorf. All are acute care facilities with a comprehensive approach to healthcare and respiratory therapy. Students are assigned clinical rotations at all three campuses, local health care institutions, and additional acute care experience at a Level II Regional NICU institution in the final semester of the program.

The Respiratory Care Program requires that all graduates demonstrate competence in didactic coursework and a specified list of clinical competencies.

Start Date: 8/20/18

Admission Requirements

Students enrolling in the Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care Program must meet the College admission criteria and the following:

  1. Minimum cumulative High School grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale
  2. ACT composite score of 20 or above SAT composite score of 1020 OR
  3. 12 credits of college coursework with a cumulative GPA or 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale
  4. Accuplacer Test placement at Basic Algebra level or completion of Basic Algebra course prior to enrollment.

Complete application at

Last updated Apr 2019

About the School

With a presence in the Quad Cities for more than 100 years, Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences has become the community leader in developing experienced and knowledgeable health professi ... Read More

With a presence in the Quad Cities for more than 100 years, Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences has become the community leader in developing experienced and knowledgeable health professionals. Read less