Respiratory Therapist training

July 11, 2017 by Anonymous

SHOW LOW — A partnership between Northland Pioneer College and Cochise College will make nationally accredited Respiratory Therapy (RT) training available at NPC’s Show Low campus starting in January 2018.

RT students working  with a patient
RT students working with a patient.

“NPC has been looking for ways to make additional allied health programs available to our students to help fill the local demand for skilled workers,” notes Dr. Debra McGinty, NPC's dean of Nursing and Allied Health programs. “Our local medical partners need qualified respiratory therapists, and Cochise College, which has an accredited RT program, was willing to partner with NPC to offer the program to our students.”

A Respiratory Therapist, or Respiratory Care Practitioner, is involved in the evaluation and monitoring of heart and lung function, as well as giving treatment and providing temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema; emergency care to victims of heart attacks, stroke, drowning or shock; treatment of trauma victims and surgical patients; and education and rehabilitation services and diagnostic testing.

Prior to admission into the two-year RT program, students must complete English, math, biology and general education transfer courses, a total of 23 NPC credits. The four semesters of RT-specific courses are all offered through Cochise, beginning in the spring semester.

“Our program is designed for students to graduate in December, when the demand is highest for Respiratory Therapists,” explained Jim Nosek, Cochise's program director. “Our program has a very high hire rate within six weeks of completion.” Many of the clinical facilities used for externships offer positions to the RT program completers.

Initially, 10 NPC students will be admitted to the RT program, which requires a total of 79-81 credits for the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) looks at classroom size, laboratory facilities, available clinical locations as well as the number of heart and lung disorder patients with respiratory therapists available for the size of the class, explained Nosek.

Students interested in the new joint NPC-Cochise Respiratory Therapy program should meet with an NPC academic adviser for a complete list of prerequisite courses required for admission to the program. Additional questions can be directed to Jim Nosek, (520) 515-5491 or Noelle Coats, (520) 452-2613.

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