Respiratory therapy is a growing field in the area of healthcare. The respiratory therapist is a health care professional who specializes in the application of scientific knowledge in providing and supporting the cardiopulmonary requirements for a wide variety of patients that include newborn infants, children, adults and the elderly. Respiratory therapists work under the direction of a physician to assess, manage, treat, educate and care for patients with a wide range of cardiopulmonary disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). The respiratory therapist works in a collaborative fashion with other health care providers to restore the cardiopulmonary health of the patient, in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies.
The BS program in Respiratory Therapy is offered by the University of Michigan-Flint Department of Public Health and Health Sciences in partnership with Mott Community College Health Sciences Division. The program is designed to provide a natural transition from an Associate’s degree to a Baccalaureate level completion program, and reflects a commitment by the respiratory therapy profession to increase entry-level standards to the Baccalaureate level. (The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) has set down standards that all newly-developed respiratory therapy programs must be at the baccalaureate level, effective January 1, 2018.) Baccalaureate training allows therapists who already have degrees at the Associate’s level the opportunity to study advanced respiratory care in specialty areas such as advanced diagnostics or critical care, and to be employed as advanced clinicians, administrators (department directors or managers), and academic or clinical educators, engaged in evidence-based research, quality assurance, case management, and public health. The program helps prepared students to sit for the Neonatal Pediatric Specialty (NPS) credential, Adult Critical Care Specialty (ACCS) credential, Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist Specialty (RPFT) credential, and Sleep Disorders Specialty (SDS) credential, all awarded by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
The fully online program affords practicing respiratory therapists the opportunity to complete coursework while working full-time. The program is specifically designed as a continuation of the respiratory therapy associate degree program at Mott Community College, but is open to other licensed respiratory therapists, depending on availability of practicum opportunities. The forty-nine credit hour program requires seven semesters (27 months) to complete and includes didactic coursework, two practica (one residency and one non-residency), and a capstone project. All courses are taught online, with one MFLEX course utilizing synchronous technology.
Applicants for admission are accepted throughout the year for the following semester. (Application deadlines are posted on the UM-Flint website). Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for admission:
- Associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy from an accredited institution.
- Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, awarded by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
- Minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher in the Associate’s degree and 2.8 in all science courses.
- Updated first aid and CPR certification.
- Infant, child, adult CPR certification with AED training for Healthcare Providers, kept updated for each year in the program.Actual hands-on experience with mannequins is required. (Online coursework only is not accepted.)
- Certification through the American Heart Association class “Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers” or the American Red Cross class “CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers.”
Students may transfer in credits from the Associate degree in respiratory therapy. In addition, students may transfer general education credits from an accredited institution.