Respiratory Therapy Associate of Applied Science
OneMSU's Distance Learning Solution
The OneMSU Network is a partnership between Gallatin College MSU in Bozeman, City College at MSU Billings, and Great Falls College MSU. Thanks to the OneMSU Network, you can get a two-year, career-oriented degree, regardless of whether you live in a rural community or major city. From enrolling in prerequisites to earning your degree, the OneMSU Network lets you stay connected to your family, your friends, and your community while you get an education to launch your career.
Thanks to the OneMSU Network, you can now get a two-year AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy from Great Falls College MSU and experience everything distance-learning education has to offer. Through the OneMSU Network you can:
- Take prerequisites for the respiratory therapy program through City College.
- Once prerequisites are complete, apply to the Great Falls College Respiratory Therapy Program and, if accepted, take labs and clinicals locally or with minimal travel.
Respiratory Therapy Career
Similar to nurses, respiratory therapists attend to patients’ bedside care, but these healthcare professionals will likely tell you their work is much more specialized.
As experts in the cardiopulmonary system, respiratory therapists often serve on critical care teams, supporting critically ill patients whenever breathing problems occur. They might also work with anesthesiologists to monitor patients' breathing after surgery, operate life-saving mechanical ventilators, attend high-risk births, or help diagnose sleep disorders like sleep apnea, among many other job functions.
Most people take breathing for granted, but for the thousands of people who suffer from breathing problems, each breath is a major achievement. Those people include heart-attack and trauma victims; patients with chronic lung problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema; premature infants; and people with lung cancer, AIDS, and cystic fibrosis. In each instance, patients will likely work with a respiratory therapist under the direction of a physician.
Jobs in the respiratory therapy field are expected to grow much faster than average, and respiratory therapists in Montana earn a median annual wage of $58,420!
Respiratory Therapy Program Overview
Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care, the Great Falls College Respiratory Therapy Program is designed to help you develop the skills required for a successful career as a respiratory therapist. Upon completion of the AAS degree in respiratory therapy, graduates will be prepared for a career as a respiratory therapist. Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Certification and Registry practitioner examinations.
Prerequisite Course Work Completed at City College
Individuals can initially apply to attend City College and work with an Academic Advisor to create a plan to complete the prerequisite courses required for this program. The Academic Advisor will also assist students in applying to Great Falls College and directing them to the competitive application process for this program. If you have any questions as to college work taken outside of the MUS system, the Academic Advisor will collaborate with the Great Falls Program Director to verify if that work can be utilized to fulfill prerequisite courses or other general education.
Core Respiratory Therapy Program Delivery
In this delivery method, there is a combination of online learning activities where one or more types of technologies are used to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor in space and time.
- Academic course content such as lectures, quizzes, and exams will be available online asynchronously, meaning students are required to work through this material according to the course schedule, but the content is available 24/7.
- Clinical and laboratory attendance is required according to the schedule designed by faculty and the local clinical sites. The days, hours, and locations of these sessions will vary but an advance schedule will be provided to allow students to plan accordingly. Full details of clinical and lab sessions will be provided once students are in the program. In general, students should expect to be in a lab session at a local clinic around 3 hours per week and in a clinical session 2-3 days a week with varying times. Labs begin the first semester and clinical the second semester.
The local (clinical) and online (classwork) components of this program allow students to become a Respiratory Therapist where they live and offers flexibility in learning times to accommodate busy lives. However, this type of learning requires a great level of self-control, motivation and dedication to studies and schedule. Make no mistake, this is a full-time commitment, and students should expect to spend a minimum of 40 hours per week working on coursework and clinical sessions, usually more.
In addition to the amount of time students are investing in their education, participating in this distance program means they also have to take the initiative to establish connections with the community for their clinical locations. They must be resilient in an environment that requires them to self-advocate, be vocal about their needs, and be self-motivated to arrange what they need in order to succeed.
The face-to-face component of the program is utilized for the lab and clinical where the students must be in a clinical facility with an identified preceptor. Additionally, due to the distance nature of the program, reliable and high-quality technology and computer competency are necessary. Students in this program must have:
- a reliable computer
- easily accessible and reliable high-speed internet
- quick adaptability to technology
- a wireless mobile device with network and GPS functionality.
Selecting a Clinical Site
Great Falls College has existing agreements with regional clinical facilities that you may work with in the following communities:
- Great Falls
In addition, students may attend labs and clinical in other communities, either in part or full, depending on that facility's ability to provide the level of competency required by the program. For example, a student living in Butte, Lewistown, Helena, Anaconda, Sidney, Wolf Point, Glendive, Cody or any other community may be able to complete portions of their clinical courses locally but will require travel and lodging to attend a regional medical facility to complete adult and neonatal critical care training and specialty care rotations.
For more detailed information on the Local & Online aspects of the program, contact Brian Cayko at email@example.com or go to Great Falls College Respiratory Therapy homepage: www.gfcmsu.edu/webs/respiratorycare
|Prerequisite Courses and Skills|
|Background in basic science and math is essential to prepare applicants to succeed in the RT program. The following courses are recommended, not required.|
|AHMS 144||Medical Terminology||3|
& BIOM 251
|Microbiology for Hlth Sciences|
and Microbiology Hlth Sciences Lab 1
& CHMY 122
|Intro to General Chemistry|
and Intro to Gen Chem Lab 2
|The Great Falls College MSU RT program is a limited enrollment program, accepting a restricted number of students each year. Interested students are urged to contact the RT Program Director or an Advisor for student advising specific to admission requirements and criteria for program acceptance.|
|Required Prerequisite Courses|
|Prior to formal program acceptance, the applicant must successfully complete all of the program prerequisites with a minimum grade of “C-" or better.|
& BIOH 202
|Human Anatomy & Physiology I|
and Human Anatomy & Phys I Lab 2
& BIOH 212
|Human Anatomy & Physiology II|
and Human Anatomy & Phys II Lab 1
|WRIT 101||College Writing I 2||3|
|Select one course from: 3||3-4|
|College Algebra 2|
|College Math for Healthcare 2|
|Calculus I 2|
|Introduction to Statistics 2|
Placement in course is determined by placement assessment
For transfer students, M 115 Probability and Linear Math will be accepted.
|Program Requirements after Formal Acceptance|
|A grade of “C-“ or better must be earned in all required courses to continue in and graduate from the program.|
|The courses below are to be taken in the order that they are listed.|
|Admission into the RT Program and completion of the previous semester are required. CPR certification is a prerequisite for entrance into clinical courses. Each student is required to sign a clinical contract defining their professional responsibilities and behavior.|
|First Year - Fall|
|AHRC 150||Respiratory Care Lab I||1|
|AHRC 152||Respiratory Care||3|
|AHRC 155||Respiratory Physiology||3|
|AHRC 170||Respir Care Tech & Proced I||5|
|AHRC 254||Pulmonary Assessment||3|
|First Year - Spring|
|AHRC 140||Respiratory Care Clinic I||4|
|AHRC 171||Resp Care Tech & Proced II||5|
|AHRC 180||Ventilator Management||3|
|AHRC 250||Respiratory Care Lab II||1|
|AHRC 262||Neonatal Respiratory Care||3|
|Second Year - Fall|
|AHRC 240||Respiratory Care Clinic III||5|
|AHRC 245||Resp Care Clinical Seminar I||1|
|AHRC 251||Hemodynamic Monitoring||4|
|AHRC 274||Pulmonary Diseases||3|
|ECP 212||Advanced Cardiac Life Support||1|
|Second Year - Spring|
|AHRC 241||Respiratory Care Clinic IV||5|
|AHRC 246||Resp Care Clinical Seminar II||1|
|AHRC 264||Respiratory Care in Alt Sites||2|
|ECP 241||Pediatric Advanced Life Supprt||1|
|HTH 120||IV Therapy for HC Providers||1|
|Select one course from:||3|
|Intro to Interpersonal Comm|
|Intro to Psychology|
|Total Minimum Credits||72|