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College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

BS in Respiratory Care

Respiratory care is an exciting, fast-paced profession that combines advanced technology with compassionate care of people with breathing disorders. Our program prepares you to work as a respiratory therapist with patients of all ages, from premature infants to older adults, in this high-tech, high-touch career.

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Did you know?

  • Respiratory therapy is ranked #6 in best healthcare jobs by US News and World Report. Read more
  • The average salary for a Respiratory Therapist in CT is $78,811
    (Source: Salary.com)

About the Major

BS respiratory students and professor

The University of Hartford offers the only entry-level bachelor’s degree program in New England. More hospitals are now requiring a bachelor’s degree for respiratory therapists, and it gives you an edge throughout your career, from landing your first job to advancing to leadership positions.

Our fully accredited four-year program provides graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree and eligibility for state licensing and credentialing by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

This program offers more than 750 hours of clinical experience and includes clinical training at some of the best medical facilities in New England, including Hartford Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Our state-of-the-art simulation center on campus gives students the opportunity to practice realistic patient care scenarios that challenge and develop their critical thinking and clinical skills.

Respiratory Care: Teamwork and Technology

In the Respiratory Care program, students learn the importance of teamwork to improve patient care and make a difference in the lives of others. Hear from one of our students and our director of clinical education in this short video.

What can respiratory therapists do?

Respiratory students in sim lab
Our on-campus, high-tech simulation lab gives you the opportunity to practice patient care skills prior to starting your clinical rotations.

Respiratory therapists care for patients with heart and lung problems. They often treat people who have asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis or sleep apnea. Their patients range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients who have diseased lungs. They also have the skills to respond to emergency situations such as a heart attack or stroke. 

Advances in technology make it possible to help patients get well in ways that were impossible years ago. Respiratory therapists work with sophisticated medical equipment like mechanical ventilators that can breathe for people who can’t breathe on their own and other devices such as ECMO that require a knowledge and love of technology.  Respiratory therapists are considered the go-to experts for all high-tech respiratory equipment. 

Respiratory therapists can work in various areas of hospitals as well as outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, asthma education programs, smoking cessation programs, sleep labs, and even air transport and ambulance programs.

If you’re looking for a profession that combines sophisticated technology and bedside patient care, respiratory therapy can be a great career path.

Career Outlook

BS Respiratory Care career outlook

The job outlook for respiratory therapists is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for respiratory therapists will grow 23 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

More than 90 percent of our graduates are employed in the field of respiratory care within six months of graduation. Our graduates work at leading hospitals across the region, including:

  • Hartford Hospital
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Kaitlynn Oudekerk

BS in Respiratory Care, '22

Kaitlynn was hired before graduation as a respiratory therapist at the prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The clinical placements in UHart's respiratory program and personal attention she received from faculty prepared her well for this opportunity. Read more

“The support I received from faculty and staff was instrumental in landing this opportunity. All of the opportunities on and around campus prepared me to achieve my career goals.”

Degree Requirements

The Respiratory Care program is a total of 125 credits. A sample of courses is listed below. View the full curriculum using the link to the course catalog.

Professional courses in the Respiratory Care program total 51 credits and include:

Respiratory Pharmacology
Pulmonary Diagnostics and Therapy
Mechanical Ventilation and Resuscitation
Medical-Surgical Problems
Ethical Issues in Respiratory Care
Clinical Practice

Science courses total 37-38 credits and include:

Introductory Biology
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Principles of Chemistry
Mechanics, Heat and the Body

General education requirements total 37-38 credits and include:

Academic Writing
Introduction to Healthcare Professions
Everyday Statistics
Business and Professional Communications

In order to perform the tasks required of a respiratory therapist, certain physical/behavioral capabilities are required. Students must demonstrate the ability to perform required functions, as a routine part of classroom, laboratory, or clinical education. Click here to read the full technical standards for the program.

Mission StatementThe Respiratory Therapy Program at The University of Hartford will prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRT's). The program will prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content that includes objectives related to acquisition of skills in one or more of the following: management, education, and/ or advanced clinical practice in areas such as adult critical care, neonatal/ pediatric care, emergency room, pulmonary rehabilitation and pulmonary laboratory.
 
Program Goals:
  1. Students must be competent in interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with diverse population groups.
  2. Students will develop and employ critical thinking skills.
  3. Students will acquire expected knowledge and competencies. 
  4. Students will demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and development. 

Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcome 1
1.1. Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
1.2. Students will demonstrate effective written communication.
Learning Outcome 2
2.1. Students will apply problem-solving strategies in the patient care setting.
2.2. Students will demonstrate the ability to respond to a critical situation.
Learning Outcome 3
3.1. Students will demonstrate competency in respiratory therapy procedures.
3.2. Students will demonstrate expected knowledge.
Learning Outcome 4
4.1. Students to demonstrate professionalism during their clinical experience.
4.2. Students will integrate a commitment to life-long learning into their professional practice of respiratory therapy.
 
 Assessment of Program Effectiveness
  1. Students will pass the high cut score of the TMC exam.
  2. Students will be gainfully employed as respiratory therapists within the first 12 months following graduation.
  3. Students will successfully complete the program.
  4. Students will be satisfied with their education.
  5. Employers will be satisfied with the performance of our graduates.

Clinical Training

You will begin your clinical training in your sophomore year at one of our 15 clinical partners. Rotations include neonatal, pediatric, adult critical care, and long-term care, and give you a wide range of clinical experiences. Clinical study is integrated throughout the second, third, and fourth years of the program.

Our clinical sites include the following hospitals and healthcare organizations:

Baystate Hospital Respiratory Care

Brigham and Women's Hospital Respiratory Care   

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Children's Hospital Boston Respiratory Care  

Danbury Hospital Respiratory Care

Gaylord Hospital Respiratory Care

Hartford Hospital Respiratory Care

John Dempsey/UConn Respiratory Care

Johnson Memorial Respiratory Care

Midstate Medical Center Respiratory Care

St. Francis Hospital Pulmonary Medicine

Yale-New Haven Hospital Respiratory Care

Admission Requirements

Respiratory Care admission requirements

Our program is open to qualified full- and part-time students. Freshmen and transfer students from associate's degree, registered respiratory care programs may apply.

For admission into the Department of Health Sciences, 16 units of secondary subjects are expected, among which the following are strongly recommended:

  • English - 4 units
  • Social Studies - 2 units
  • Foreign Language - 2 units
  • Math - 3 units including one unit of algebra and trigonometry
  • Science - 2 units
  • Other academic subjects - 3 units

Applicants for the Bachelor of Science degree programs, including Respiratory Care, must have three years of college preparatory mathematics. Trigonometry must be one of the courses.

Transfer Admissions

If you are applying as a transfer student, you will submit your application and documentation to our Office of Admission. Our staff are knowledgeable about credit articulation agreements that we have with other institutions and work closely with the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions to provide transfer students with the information they need to make a smooth transition.

Additional Information

Respiratory Care Program Effectiveness Data 2018-2020

Respiratory Program Policy and Procedure Manual

Respiratory Care Student Clinical Handbook

Program Contacts

Karen Griffiths
Respiratory Care Program Director
860.768.4823
griffiths@hartford.edu

Nikolaos Galiatsatos
Director of Clinical Education
860.768.5499
galiatsat@hartford.edu

Accreditation and State of Connecticut Certification

Our respiratory care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and the State of Connecticut. Information about CoARC and the accreditation process is available at www.coarc.com. For program outcome data, visit this page on the CoARC website. 

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Please click here to read the professional licensure disclosure statement for the University of Hartford's Respiratory Therapy undergraduate major.

Making a difference is the ultimate reward.