Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care

What type of work would I do if I studied respiratory care?

Respiratory Care is the assessment, diagnosis, and management of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Students who complete the Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care will be eligible to take the credentialing examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Those examinations include the Therapist Multiple Choice (TMC) exam and the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). Successful candidates earn the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

What salary can I expect to earn with this degree?

Respiratory therapists in Missouri earned an average annual salary of $49,754, according to 2011 data compiled by the Mo. Department of Economic Development and posted on the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center website. Respiratory therapists in the south-central Missouri region earned an average salary of $41,722. Missouri State University-West Plains Respiratory Care program holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835, This status signifies that a program that has been granted an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance to initiate a program in accordance with the Standards through the completion and submission of an acceptable Self Study Report (SSR), and other documentation required by the CoARC Board. The conferral of Provisional Accreditation denotes a new program that has made significant progress towards meeting the Standards of Accreditation. The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until achieving Initial Accreditation. It is recognized by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) toward eligibility to the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). Enrolled students completing the program under Provisional Accreditation are considered graduates of a CoARC accredited program.

Respiratory Care Program Goals: “To 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 (RRTs)."

Upon completion of the program, all students will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, apply and evaluate information relevant to the role of the advanced level respiratory therapist.
  2. Demonstrate technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill the role of the advanced level respiratory therapist (RRT).
  3. Demonstrate personal behaviors consistent with professional and employer expectations for the advanced level respiratory therapist

Essential Abilities

The following functional abilities or attributes are essential in order to meet the objectives for the AAS in Respiratory Care at Missouri State University-West Plains.

With reasonable accommodation the student must possess:

  1. Fine motor skills sufficient to perform skills such as picking up, grasping, manipulating small objects with hands and writing with a pen or pencil.
  2. Physical mobility and strength sufficient to lift 25 pounds unassisted, move about in a patient care area and participate in client care.
  3. Physical stamina sufficient to perform client care for the entire length of the clinical experience (8-12 hour shifts)
  4. Auditory ability sufficient for assessment of client health.
  5. Visual acuity sufficient to see objects up to 20 inches away and the ability to distinguish colors.
  6. Reading ability sufficient to understand the written word at a minimum of a tenth grade level.
  7. Arithmetic competence that would allow the student to read and understand columns of writing; to tell time; to use measuring tools and to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
  8. Emotional stability sufficient to assume responsibility/accountability for actions, to provide client with emotional support, to adapt to environmental stress and to monitor own emotions.
  9. Analytical thinking sufficient to transfer knowledge from one situation to another, to problem solve, to prioritize tasks and to use long-term and short-term memory.
  10. Critical thinking ability sufficient to exercise sound judgment through the sequencing of information and the identification of cause and effect relationships.
  11. Interpersonal skills sufficient to establish rapport with clients and co-workers and to respect the rights of others and the differences in clients.
  12. Communication skills sufficient to teach others, to explain procedures, to interact with others, and to convey information in oral/written forms.
  13. The student must adhere to all confidentiality and HIPAA regulations of the University and of the clinical affiliates.

Admission Eligibility

Missouri State University-West Plains’ admission criterion uses the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action statements found in the University’s policy section of the catalog. To be considered for admission each applicant must achieve a minimum Ranking Score of 52. All applicants will be considered competitively on an annual basis.

  1. Ranking score is computed by multiplying the ACT score by the GPA. Incoming freshmen and those with less than 12 college credit hours will have the ranking score computed using their high school GPA. The college GPA will be used for applicants with 12 hours or more. In some cases the admissions committee may elect to use the last 12 hours to compute the ranking score.
  2. Applicant must have a minimum of a 2.0 (C) average regardless of ranking score.
  3. Complete application instructions and requirements are found in the application packet available in the respiratory care department, the office of academic affairs and the office of admissions.
  4. The application deadline is October 31 st of each year. Interviews will be held in late November with notification of acceptance made the week following interviews, Those accepted start the program in the spring semester following the application cycle.

Respiratory Care (AAS)

Associate of Applied Science
General Education Core RequirementsCredit Hours
IDS 110 Student Success 2
BMS 110 Introduction to the Biomedical Sciences 4
  • COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • COM 205 Interpersonal Communication Theory and Skills
ENG 110 Writing I 3
MTH 103 Intermediate Algebra or higher
(except MTH 197 Introductory Topics in Mathematics or MTH 297 Mathematics Topics in Globalization)
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship 3
PSY 121 Introductory Psychology 3
General Education Core Total 21
Respiratory Care Core RequirementsCredit Hours
RSC 120 Introduction to Respiratory Care/The Respiratory Care Professional 3
RSC 121 Microbiology for Respiratory Care 2
RSC 122 Respiratory Pharmacology 2
RSC 123 Pulmonary Disease I 2
RSC 124 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 3
RSC 132 Mechanical Ventilation I 3
RSC 210 Respiratory Equipment and Therapeutics 4
RSC 223 Pulmonary Disease II 2
RSC 232 Mechanical Ventilation II 3
RSC 245 Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics 3
RSC 250 Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care 3
RSC 260 Respiratory Care Special Procedures 2
RSC 270 Disease Management 2
RSC 280 Clinical Practicum I 5
RSC 281 Clinical Practicum II 6
RSC 282 Clinical Practicum III 2
RSC 283 Clinical Practicum IV 4
RSC 297 Advanced Respiratory Care Theory (capstone course) 4
Respiratory Care Core Total 55
Total Degree Hours Required 76

Although not a requirement, ALH 116 Medical Terminology is highly recommended as well

Students are strongly encouraged to confirm the transferability of individual courses to other institutions prior to enrollment. Not all courses will transfer or satisfy specific degree requirements for bachelor’s degrees