High School Prep & Recommended Preparatory Courses
To prepare to enter the Respiratory Care program, high school students should take mathematics (including algebra and trigonometry) and sciences (including chemistry and biology) in addition to core high school courses.
Although you must be accepted to the Respiratory Care program before taking Respiratory Care classes (those with an “RESP” course prefix), it is recommended that you complete as many of the other courses in the curriculum as possible prior to acceptance. This will not shorten the two years required to complete the program, but will reduce your class load in the program.
The Respiratory Care faculty will make all fair and reasonable efforts to help the student be successful in the Respiratory Care program. Efforts usually include extensive counseling and remediation with faculty and/or referral to Career Planning and Counseling for additional assistance. However, all courses with RESP prefixes must be passed with a grade of “C” or better in order to proceed to the next Respiratory Care course in the sequence. All courses with biology and chemistry prefixes must be passed and completed with a “C” or better to proceed to the second year Respiratory Care classes. A minimum overall semester grade point average of 2.0 must be maintained. Individual course and laboratory requirements are indicated in each course syllabus. A student who develops significant physical limitations or emotional distress during the course of the program, may be asked to undergo additional physical or psychological evaluations to determine their ability to continue in the program. The program courses follow an attendance policy. Excessive unexcused absences, as defined in the Respiratory Care student handbook and course syllabi, will result in lowering the student’s final grade.
Additional Requirements and Expectations
Essential Functions/Technical Standards
Capabilities Necessary to Perform Procedures in Program
- Self mobility. Ability to push or pull wheeled equipment (such as cylinders or ventilators) weighing up to 300 pounds.
- Ability to identify patient by sight for identification and visually observed of condition. Ability to read patient I.D. band, information in patient chart and on paper or computer screen.
- Ability to position patient in bed for therapy. Able to assist in moving patient from bed to gurney and back. Able to support head, neck and spine when moving patients with spinal injury.
- Ability to read controls, LEDs, LCDs, manometers, spirometers, syringe markings, equipment instruction manuals, computer monitors, and cardiac monitors.
- Ability to reach equipment controls, visualize displays, connect flowmeters and hoses to wall outlets. Ventilator controls are approximately 36-48 inches from floor. Wall gas outlets are approximately 60 inches from floor.
- Ability to handle instruments such as syringes, laryngoscopes, stopcocks, stethoscopes, respirometers, calculators, and enter information on either physical or virtual keyboard.
- Ability to hear breath sounds, Karotkoff sounds (BP), heart sounds and ventilator alarms.
- Ability to read written passages, communicate orally and in writing (both handwritten and typed).
- Ability to endure long periods of physical activity including standing, walking and light to moderate lifting.
- Ability to accurately palpate pulses.
- Ability to make accurate observations, perceive events realistically, think clearly, objectively and rationally. Ability to function in routine, stress and emergency situations. Ability to assess, make judgments and perform indicated procedures rapidly.
If you feel you would need special accommodations to perform any of these tasks, please contact the Chattanooga State Disabilities Office.
After you are Admitted in the Program
- Required sciences (BIOL 2010, BIOL 2020, BIOL 2230) must be completed before students can progress to the program’s second year (fourth semester).
- Students must complete a health physical and other items before proceeding to the clinical classes. See health verification policy below.
- Students must complete a criminal background check after admission to the program but prior to entering the first program course. See below.
- The schedule of the clinical classes (RESP 1399, 2444, 2465) may vary from semester to semester based upon need and hospital situations. RESP 1399 and RESP 2444 are usually scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for eight hours every day, generally 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. RESP 2465 usually consists of two 12-hour shifts which may be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.. A schedule will be distributed at the beginning of each semester.
- All of the clinical sites have a no-smoking policy in the building. Several hospitals have also instituted a no-smoking policy on their campuses, including sidewalks, parking lots, etc. Due to these restrictions and to promote respiratory health in patients and students, no student will be allowed to smoke or use tobacco products on hospital property.
Prior to entering any classes that involve actual patient care (clinical), each student is required to meet the health requirements of all clinical sites. This includes successful passing of a physical examination, laboratory tests, drug screen and documentation of various immunizations. Some patient care facilities are now requiring annual influenza vaccines. The specific requirements may vary from year to year, based on clinical site requirements and federal and state regulations. Students who do not meet these requirements cannot continue in the program. Contact the Program Director for details.
Criminal Background Checks
Following acceptance and prior to entering the first career course in designated healthcare programs, each student must undergo a criminal background check in order to comply with policies of affiliating clinical practice agencies. It shall be the student’s responsibility to comply with instructions provided upon acceptance and provide the results by a designated date. The check will be at the expense of the student. Students who do not meet this requirement in a timely manner or whose background does not meet agency standards will not be able to successfully complete the program. Additionally, a criminal background may preclude licensure or employment. Individuals with a question concerning this should schedule an appointment with the Program Director.
Students will be required to access “eLearn” on the Chattanooga State Tiger Web site which has an individual site for each class. The site for each class will contain syllabi, class and department policies, test objectives, supplemental material, announcements and academic references. Each student is expected to access this site at least once a week and whenever he or she is notified of a new posting to the site by the instructor. Students may access several computer labs on campus, including the respiratory lab HSC 2057, when it is not in use.