Respiratory Care students at Broward College have a state-of-the-art facility filled with the latest in equipment and technology for their training grounds. When you join the program, your experience begins and ends with an abundance of hands-on opportunities. In addition to your experience at the hospitals, the Health Science Simulation Center provides a virtual hospital opportunity where you spend about 80 hours during the program practicing more than 20 live simulations that prepare you for your career.
The first semester in the Respiratory Care program is two days a week. The remaining semesters are four days a week. All academic courses take place during the day. Clinical Rotations are offered during the day from 6:45 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. and during the evening from 2:45 p.m. until 11:15 p.m.
The program requires a lot of dedication to classroom work and study time. It is difficult to work full-time hours and perform well academically.
Class sizes are small and your peers are sure to demonstrate the same eagerness to learn and helpfulness that we enjoy seeing from all of our students.
The combination of lectures, lab courses, clinical courses and the vast knowledge of the faculty create an atmosphere of constant engagement between the student and the course material. Open lab hours and scheduled tutoring sessions are provided for an optimal learning experience.
Our dedicated faculty will prepare you for a career in respiratory therapy by showing you how to:
Manage conventional and high frequency mechanical ventilation
Manage the airway including establishing and maintaining airways, such as endotracheal tubes and tracheostomy tubes
Manage noninvasive ventilation
Perform diagnostic testing such as arterial blood gas analysis, pulmonary function testing, pulse oximetry and end tidal C02 monitoring
Perform patient assessment of the respiratory compromised patient
Deliver a series of medications to the cardiopulmonary system including the use of nebulization via aeroeclipse, aeroneb and metered dose inhalers
Deliver nitric oxide and heliox
Deliver oxygen therapy including high flow nasal cannula, 02 delivery devices and nasal CPAP
Transport respiratory compromised patients in the hospital and between hospitals
- Treat patient populations from premature infants through adults
Respiratory therapists with associate’s degrees have excellent job prospects today and in the future. Job growth in respiratory care is expected to increase for the next decade, with a 28 percent growth rate nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most hospitals offer 12 hour work shifts with three days a week being considered full time. The starting pay is approximately $22/hour for registered respiratory therapists. Job openings exist throughout the tri-county area as well as throughout the country. Because of the quality and reputation of our graduates, over 90% of our graduates have found employment. The respiratory care profession is a strong profession with a secure future. Currently, there are over 160,000 practicing respiratory therapists in the United States.
Broward College’s degree program satisfies the requirements established by the National Board for Respiratory Care and qualifies you as a candidate for the national Respiratory Therapist Multiple Choice Examination, and the Clinical Simulation Examination.
The Broward College Respiratory Care program includes extensive preparation for national certification exams as well as resume and interview preparation.
Upon obtaining their licenses, 90% to 100% percent of our graduates have been hired as respiratory therapists in health care settings such as:
- Hospital intensive care units
- Emergency rooms
- Non-critical care areas
- Home care
Before making any decision about which respiratory care program to enroll in, it’s important to make sure that this career is a good fit for you. Some of the qualities you should possess include:
Good interpersonal and communication skills
Fast-acting problem solver and decision maker
Critical thinker who can make independent judgments
Calm under pressure and in intense emergency situations
Upon graduating and earning your license, your duties as a respiratory therapist will include:
Providing care to neonatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patient populations
- Assuring the accuracy of monitoring systems by providing necessary calibrations, adjustments and quality control
Applying and maintaining life support systems including oxygen, CPR and mechanical ventilator support devices to critically ill and long term ventilator and oxygen dependent patients
Assisting with patient care decision making by communicating with physicians, nurses and other health care team members and by making appropriate decisions as needed in emergency situations
- Providing airway care, including the maintenance of a patent airway through intubation, tracheostomy care, clearance of airway obstructions and reversal of bronchial narrowing due to bronchospasms and inflammation of the airways.
Extubating patients when appropriate and providing appropriate airway care following extubation
Performing diagnostic evaluation including the performance and interpretation of pulmonary function studies. Draws blood samples and analyzes and interprets the results of blood tests. Monitors and evaluates exhaled gases. Performs direct and indirect calorimetry, transcutaneous and oximetry measurements, evaluates cardiac monitors and indwelling catheters
Respiratory Care Technical Standards
It takes 76 credit hours to earn your A.S. in Respiratory Care, which takes two years to complete with a full-time schedule. Part-time courses are not available.
General education courses for admission to the program can be taken at all Broward College campuses. All Respiratory Care labs and lecture courses are located on the North Campus in Coconut Creek, Florida.
If you graduated from the Respiratory Care program, give back to the college that helped you launch your career. Donate to a scholarship for Broward College students and join the Alumni & Friends Association
for exclusive alumni perks and events.
Attendance at the Advisory Committee Meetings is welcomed and allows an opportunity for feedback to the committee on your new career.
Share your knowledge and experience by providing guest lectures to the current students in the respiratory care program.
Because of the variation in curriculum from one program to the next, it is recommended that the student finish the respiratory care program where they originally attended. Transferring to another school may require a longer period of time to complete all of the respiratory courses.
Students applying to Broward College (BC) from other respiratory programs are accepted according to the following criteria:
The student must be in good standing with the program they are coming from. (No failed classes)
Apply to BC. As part of the application process, the college will request transcripts from previous colleges.
The student can then take any prerequisite courses not already completed
(Minimum acceptance GPA in prerequisite courses is 2.5)
Prerequisite courses are listed on the attached program sheet
The student will be ranked for admission selection according to their GPA from their prerequisite courses
Admission selection occurs during the months of May and June
Upon acceptance into the respiratory program, the student will be given a challenge exam to determine placement into the BC Respiratory Courses
The exam has three portions:
Written Exam: This exam will test the applicant's current level of knowledge.
The exam will consist of course content based on the courses already completed from a previous program.
Laboratory Practicum: A 2 hour practicum will evaluate the applicants knowledge and comfort with
mechanical ventilation and respiratory equipment
Clinical Practicum: Two days are spent in the clinic to evaluate the applicant's level of experience in the clinical setting.
Practicing respiratory therapists with a CRT credential that desire to acquire an RRT credential can do so without having to be admitted into an advanced level respiratory therapy program.
All that is needed is to meet the National Board for Respiratory Care requirements to sit for the registry exam. Please refer to the NBRC handbook
for more information.
An excellent clinical experience is in store for you while enrolled in BC’s Respiratory Care Program. Highly trained clinical instructors stay with you and guide your learning process as you become well trained as a respiratory therapist.
During the clinical portion of the program, students are assigned to a clinical facility within Broward County.
Students are responsible for their own transportation to the campus and to various agencies in the community to which they are assigned for clinical experiences.
Clinics begin during the second semester and meet two days a week throughout the rest of the program. Clinical locations and times are at the discretion of the faculty.
Hospitals utilized for clinical rotations:
Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood
Broward General Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale
Memorial West Hospital in Pembroke Pines
Kindred Las Olas and Kidz Korner
Dependable transportation is a necessity.
Hospital scrubs need to be purchased by the start of clinics in January. Do not purchase a stethoscope or scrubs before speaking to the instructor.
Upon completion of your degree, you qualify as a candidate for the National Board of Respiratory Care Credentialing Exams. There are two exams:
1) Therapist Multiple Choice Exam
A) Low score - retake the exam.
B) Low cut score - earns the CRT credential.
C) Meeting or exceeding the high cut score - earns the status of RRT eligible.
2) Clinical Simulation Exam
Once you are RRT eligible, you qualify to take the Clinical Simulation exam. Upon successful completion, you become a Registered Respiratory Therapist.
Our graduates have an excellent pass rate on the national exams. The pass rate is above the national average on both exams.
Obtaining a Florida License
After passing one or both national exams, you will be eligible to apply for a respiratory care license from the state of Florida. You will then be ready to seek employment.
Any person that wishes to determine eligibility of state licensure and has been arrested or convicted of any offense other than a minor traffic violation should contact:
The Department of Health
Board of Respiratory Care
4052 Bald Cypress Way; BinC05,
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3255
Maintain Your License
Please keep in mind that the Florida license needs to be renewed every two years (on the odd year). To renew the license, you must accumulate continuing education units (CEU’S). Twenty four are required every two years. The CEU's are offered by:
American Association for Respiratory Care
This is the official site for the national association. It is loaded with lots of respiratory events, information on a career, other web related links and how to sign up as a member.
Florida Society for Respiratory Care
The state society keeps you posted on issues in the state, continuing education seminars and allows you to sign up as a member.
Florida Board of Respiratory Care
Gives you instructions on obtaining your license to practice respiratory care, describes the laws and rules of the profession, includes the rules for continuing education hours, lists all licensed respiratory therapists in the state of Florida.
National Board for Respiratory Care
The national board creates the national exams and monitors the administration of the exams. You will apply to the NBRC in order to take your TMC(Therapist Multiple Choice ) and Clinical Simulation exams.
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
Lists the respiratory care programs in the country that are accredited. The site also lists the standards needed to achieve accreditation and the outcomes of each program.
First Semester: Respiratory classes are from approximately 9AM to 3PM on Tuesday and Thursday. Lab sessions (RET1026L) are limited to ten students so the time schedule will depend on the lab session that you choose.
Respiratory classes take place on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Times on Thursday are approximate depending on the lab session that you choose.
Clinical rotations at the hospital begin the second semester of the program on Wednesday and Fridays. You will need to purchase a lab coat, hospital scrubs and a stethoscope. The clinical coordinator will advise you of the color and types of items to purchase.
During your clinical rotations, paid clinical instructors stay with you and provide the expertise you need for proper training as a respiratory therapist. Your rotations include non critical areas, intensive care areas for adults, pediatrics and neonates, emergency room training, pulmonary function testing and long term care facility rotations. In addition, you will have opportunities to explore specialties like sleep medicine and pulmonary rehabilitation. You will be taught the competencies you need to independently function as a respiratory therapist when you graduate and become employed as an RRT.
The times are on Wednesday and Friday from 6:45 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. Afternoon clinicals are from 2:45 p.m. until 11:15 p.m when available.
Third Semester (Six weeks): Respiratory class meets on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The clinical rotations at the hospital are on Wednesday and Friday from 6:45 a.m. until 3:15 p.m and from 2:45pm until 11:15pm.
First Semester: Respiratory classes meet on Monday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The clinical rotations are on Wednesday and Friday from 6:45 a.m. until 3:15 p.m.
Second Semester: Respiratory classes meet on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. The clinical rotations at the hospital are on Wednesday and Friday from 6:45 a.m. until 3:15 p.m.
Final Semester: During the final semester of your second year, intensive training takes place to prepare you for the national exams. A seminar is scheduled, and practice questions and simulations are part of the preparation. Prior to graduating from the program, an exit exam must be passed. The exam is given by the National Board for Respiratory Care to all students graduating from a respiratory therapy program. Students also become certified in ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) prior to graduation.
After graduation from the program, the cost of becoming a registered respiratory therapist who can practice in the State of Florida is approximately $750 including the exams and the State of Florida license. The first exam can be taken within a week of graduating from the program.
In choosing a career in Respiratory Therapy, you will be directly involved with the health of other human beings. Professional attire and personal grooming are important, not only to the respiratory profession, but to the public as well. You will be a representative of the respiratory team and must be an example to those with whom you come in contact. Therefore, regulations about uniforms and personal grooming are necessary and are to be followed.
Respiratory Therapy Program Progression Policy
Auditing passed courses is recommended. The program has an obligation to assure that any student who progresses in the program and is eventually assigned to a clinical rotation has demonstrated sufficient academic knowledge as well as competency in the skills that will be required in the clinical arena. A student repeating a respiratory course will be asked to audit some of the respiratory courses already passed in the same year as the failed course. *** All students must be aware that if they are receiving Financial Aid, these audited courses will not be included in the financial aid package. The student must pay the full cost of the course including any fees that are part of the course.
***Auditing an already passed respiratory care course: The audited course must be successfully repeated (grade of “C” or higher) in order to continue in the respiratory program or re entry exams must be successfully taken.