Program Director: Granger
Medical Director: McArdle
Faculty: Granger, King, Laken, Waugh
Respiratory therapists work with physicians and allied health professionals to diagnose and treat patients with disorders associated with the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Therapists may be required to exercise considerable independent clinical judgment under direct or indirect supervision of a physician and are trained to act as technical resource persons for both physicians and other health care professionals.
The practice of respiratory care requires extensive knowledge of many technical and physiological concepts. Therapists administer many medical gases and cardiorespiratory drugs. Respiratory care practitioners are often responsible for the evaluation of patients and often assist in the development of the respiratory care plan. Respiratory therapists are trained to perform and evaluate the results of diagnostic tests such as arterial blood gases and pulmonary function studies. The maintenance of mechanical ventilation for critically ill patients is a major responsibility of the therapist. Therapists often assist physicians with procedures such as bronchoscopies, arterial cannula insertions, and heart catheterizations.
Respiratory therapists work in a wide variety of settings. Most therapists work in intensive care units, where they treat critically ill infants, children, or adults. Some therapists work in the general care areas of the hospital giving basic respiratory care. Many therapists work in diagnostic laboratories performing pulmonary function tests, cardiovascular studies, and some neurological diagnostic procedures. Nursing homes, clinics, and patient homes are becoming common sites for the practice of respiratory therapy. Some therapists receive additional training to become department directors or educators.
Accreditation: The UAB Respiratory Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com). Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Rd., Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835.
Credentials Conferred: Diploma—The Bachelor of Science degree is awarded by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Professional Certification: Graduates are required to apply for and pass the Entry Level Examination administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) and recognition as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) prior to receiving the B.S. Degree. Upon attainment of the B.S. Degree, the graduate is eligible to apply for the Advanced Practitioner Examination of the NBRC and recognition as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).
Length of Study: Pre-professional Phase—Four semesters (approximately two years); Professional Phase—Six semesters (two years).
Term of Enrollment for Professional Phase of Program:
Fall semester.Professional Phase Application Deadline:
Applications will be reviewed as they are received all year. Students meeting the program requirements will be interviewed and an acceptance decision will be made immediately afterwards. Appliations after June 30 will be considered on a space available basis. Enrollment is limited based on student capacity at clinical education sites.Application Procedure:
The following materials must be submitted.
To the UAB Undergraduate Admissions Office:
- completed UAB undergraduate application form, indicating pre-respiratory therapy as the major, and application fee, if applicable (if enrolled at UAB in another major, complete a Change of School/Major Request indicating pre-respiratory therapy as the major; form available from the Office of Registration and Academic Records), and
- official transcripts from each college or university attended.
To the Respiratory Therapy Program, School of Health Professions:
Requirements for Admission:
- completed application to the professional phase of the Respiratory Therapy Program (Respiratory Therapy Program application available below under "Apply Now" or from program office).
Students are eligible for admission to the professional program only after completion of the UAB/Program Core Curriculum and program prerequsities with a minimum of 64 semester hours. All candidates must satisfy the following requirements:
- have a minimum grade of C in each prerequisite course;
- have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (A=4.0);
- have a grade of C or better in each course in the UAB/Program Core Curriculum;
- complete a personal interview with members of the selection committee;
- complete a clinical visit to a respiratory department prior to admission interview (strongly recommended), and
- if accepted, complete the UAB medical history questionnaire and physical, provide proof of required immunizations, and receive satisfactory screening by the UAB Medical Center Student Health Service.
Polysomnography Certificate: Respiratory Therapy students enrolled in the senior year of the program have the opportunity to apply to the Polysomnography Certificate program. To receive the certificate, the students are required to take 8 credit hours. Students who complete the certificate program are eligible to take the Registry Exam in Polysomnographic Technology.
Fundamental tasks, behaviors, and abilities necessary to successfully complete the academic and clinical requirements of the program and to satisfy licensure/certification requirements, if any, have been outlined and are available upon request from the academic program office. Students requesting disability accommodations must do so by filing a disability accommodation request in writing with the Disability Support Services Office.
UAB/Program Core Curriculum - UAB Equivalents
(Course requirements are listed in semester credit hours)
The following courses must be completed prior to the beginning of the professional phase of the program. Contact the program advisor for details regarding the core curriculum.Area I. Written Composition (6 hours)
English Composition - EH 101, 102 (6)Area II. Humanities and Fine Arts (12 hours)
Public Speaking - CM 101 (3)
Fine Arts elective (3)Area III. Natural Sciences and Mathematics (11 hours)
Precalculus Algebra (MA 105) or Finite Math (MA 110) (3)
Introductory Chemistry l and ll - CH 105/106 lab, 107/108 lab2
(8)Area IV. History, Social, and Behavioral Sciences (12 hours)
Introduction to Sociology - SOC 100 (3)
Introduction to Psychology - PY 101 (3)
(3)Area V. Preprofessional, Major, and Elective Courses
Human Anatomy and Human Physiology - BY 115, 116 (8)
Introductory Biology - BY 123 (4)
Statistics - MA 180 or PY 214 (3)
Introduction to Microbiology - BY 261 (4)
Physical Science - PHS 1013
(4)1A 6-semester hour sequence either in literature or in history is required. If a second literature is chosen, it will apply as 3 of the elective hours in Area II Humanities and Fine Arts; if a second history is chosen, it will apply as 3 of the elective hours in Area IV History, Social, and Behavioral Sciences.2Must be a complete sequence of chemistry courses; sequence for science majors may be substituted.3Physical science must cover principles of physics (geology or earth science not accepted).
(Course requirements are listed in semester credit hours)
MT 400 Health and Safety Management (1)
RST 311 Principles of Patient Assessment (3)
RST 312 Basic Respiratory Care Procedures (4)
RST 313 Basic Respiratory Care Procedures Laboratory (3)
RST 314 Respiratory Care Pharmacology (3)
RST 321 Clinical Practicum in Respiratory Care I (4)
RST 322 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology (3)
RST 323 Airway Management (2)
RST 324 Pulmonary Pathology (2)
RST 325 Directed Study in Respiratory Care I (1)
RST 326 Airway Management Laboratory (2)
RST 331 Clinical Practicum in Respiratory Care II (4)
RST 332 Mechanical Ventilation (4)
RST 333 Mechanical Ventilation Laboratory (3)
RST 334 Critical Care Monitoring (2)
RST 411 Clinical Practicum in Respiratory Care III (4)
RST 412 Advanced Mechanical Ventilation (3)
RST 413 Special Procedures & Pulmonary Function Testing (3)
RST 414 Special Procedures Laboratory (2)
RST 415 Directed Study in Respiatory Care II (1)
RST 421 Clinical Practicum in Respiratory Care IV (4)
RST 422 Long Term & Preventive Care (2)
RST 423 Perinatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care (3)
RST 424 Long Term & Pediatric Laboratory (2)
RST 425 Laboratory Proficiency Practice (2)
RST 426 CRT Exam Review (1)
RST 427 Review of Critical Care Concepts (1)
RST 431 Clinical Internship (6)
RST 432 Directed Study in Respiratory Care III (2)
Select one of the following based on career goals:
RST 433 Research for Respiratory Therapists (4)
RST 440 Asthma Education Certification (4)
RST 445 Educational Methods in Respiratory Care (4)
For further information, contact:
Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences
School of Health Professions Building Room 230
1705 University Boulevard
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1212
Telephone: (205) 934-3209
Web address: www.uab.edu/rt