Respiratory Care | JCTC

Respiratory Care

Help people breathe easier. Learn to use life-saving equipment and care for patients with lung or heart problems, while entering a field that's full of opportunity.

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What is Respiratory Care?

The Respiratory Care Program is a two-year Associate Degree program. It includes a general education core curriculum as well as respiratory care courses, labs, and clinical practice in affiliated hospitals. 

Graduates play a principle role in the restoration and/or maintenance of pulmonary homeostasis. Included in this role is the administration of medical gas therapy, aerosol therapy, chest physiotherapy, breathing retraining, and measures for periodic lung expansion. Therapists are also able to assume a leadership role (under medical supervision) in the management of artificial airways, continuous mechanical ventilation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and pulmonary rehabilitation. Students are also prepared to perform adjunct laboratory procedures such as obtaining and analyzing arterial blood and measuring pulmonary function. 

Upon completion of the Respiratory Care Program, the graduate is qualified for a staff position under medical direction or to enter an advanced training program to pursue specialization. The graduate is also eligible for the examination process, which leads to national and state certification and national registry.

What are my career options?

Respiratory therapists are mainly employed in hospitals, in departments of respiratory care, anesthesiology, or pulmonary medicine. Others are in offices of physicians or other health practitioners, consumer-goods rental firms that supply respiratory equipment for home use, nursing care facilities, and home health care services.

What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?



Length of Program

You can earn an associate of applied science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status. Upon successful completion, the graduate is eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care Examinations. 

This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.

How Do I Apply?

The following items are required for applying to the Respiratory Care Program:

  • Attend a Respiratory Care Pre-Admission Conference.
  • Submit an application to the program.
  • Submit a letter of intent to the Program Director.
  • Submit college transcripts from colleges attended, including your current JCTC transcript.
  • Complete BIO 137, MAT 146 or MAT 150, and ENG
    101 with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Submit any ACT scores. COMPASS placement exams may be used if ACT scores are unavailable.
  • Submit a college application to the Admissions office if you are not currently enrolled.

You will receive more information about the application process when you attend the mandatory pre-admission conference.

Launch Experience


Jefferson Community & Technical College Respiratory Care Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The program number is 200151. For more information on CoARC or to find out how to contact them, please visit the CoARC website here.

“CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.” For more information on the program’s outcomes, please visit the CoARC Outcomes Data webpage here

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Program Contact

Mary Beth Keffer

Respiratory Care

Academic Program Coordinator

(502) 213-4155

Program Contact

Karen Reynolds, BSRC, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS

Respiratory Care

Director of Clinical Education

(502) 231-2197