SU Respiratory Care-The longest-running program in Virginia
Shenandoah University's program in Respiratory Care has been in existence longer than any other program in the state of Virginia. The Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (http://www.coarc.com/), 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, (817)283-2835. Upon completion of all requirements, graduates are eligible to take the credential examinations given by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
The Division of Respiratory Care offers several degree options and makes earning a degree convenient by offering a transfer track where students may transfer their associate degree or credit hours into the bachelor of science in Respiratory Care degree.
Shenandoah students receive a comprehensive education in a state-of-the-art laboratory and benefit from the university's close relationship with the Winchester Medical Center and hospitals in northern Virginia for their clinical opportunities.
Benefits of Choosing a Career in Respiratory Care
RTs are health specialists. Respiratory Care is a life-supporting, life-enhancing health care profession practiced under qualified medical direction. This health care specialty promotes optimal cardiopulmonary function and health and uses scientific principles to identify and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Because RTs are uniquely trained to treat conditions of the cardiopulmonary system, they are vital members of the health care team, working in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, emergency transport centers, physician's offices, home health agencies, specialized care hospitals, medical equipment supply companies and patients' homes.
RTs work with a variety of patients. People of every age need Respiratory Care from premature infants to the advanced in age. People who need Respiratory Care may have chronic lung problems such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.However, other people who have had heart attacks, been involved in accidents or are born prematurely might also need Respiratory Care. Those who have cystic fibrosis, lung and other types of cancer or AIDS may also need this specialcare in order to breathe easier.
Personal fulfillment. Through the blending of advanced technology and patient care, RTs have the opportunity to help someone breathe easier, better and longer. RTs find personal fulfillment in saving lives, improving the quality of lives and aiding in prevention efforts.
Job market/career potential and salary. There will always be a need for RTs because people of all ages require Respiratory Care. Employment of Respiratory Care practitioners is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2012, according to statistics compiled by the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor. This is attributed to the substantial growth in the number of middle-aged and elderly age groups in the coming years, typically groups with heightened incidence of cardiopulmonary disease. Starting salaries for RTs vary, depending on the geographic location in which the therapist practices. Regionally, RTs are making $45,000-$50,000 annually.
The mission of the Shenandoah University Respiratory Care program is to prepare and educate its students to become exemplary health care providers in the field of respiratory care. The curriculum employs the standards instituted by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care and provides students with an atmosphere that promotes critical thinking, the ability to develop the knowledge and skill essential to become an integral member of the health care team, and a consideration of human diversity.