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Undergraduate Programs

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapy

The educational program in Respiratory Therapy is part of a consortium that also includes Indiana University, Ball State University, the University of Indianapolis, and IU Health.  Classroom and laboratory courses are held at Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis), which is connected to the IUPUI campus via a free People Mover System. Students remain enrolled at IUPUI for all of their Respiratory Therapy courses and receive their degree from the IU School of Medicine.

Description of the Profession

Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, rehabilitate and educate patients to prevent and manage cardiopulmonary diseases. Procedures performed by therapists include: aerosolized medication therapy, bronchopulmonary clearance techniques, and administration of medical gases.

Respiratory therapists also provide ventilator support, pulmonary rehabilitation and advanced life support. They are skilled in airway maintenance, procurement and analysis of arterial blood gas samples and in the performance of pulmonary function tests and sleep diagnostic studies.

Respiratory therapists work primarily in hospitals caring for patients in nurseries, medical and surgical units, adult and pediatric intensive care units, and emergency rooms. As a valued member of the multi-disciplinary medical team, they work directly with physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide care to patients. Critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential for respiratory therapists.

Additional employment opportunities are available in nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals, in organizations providing home care, physicians' offices and clinics, pulmonary function laboratories, sleep clinics, and in commercial organizations that manufacture and distribute medical supplies.

Graduates of the Program

Graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy from Indiana University School of Medicine. Graduates meet the requirements to take examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). These examinations are used to obtain a license to practice as a Respiratory Therapist in the 49 states that require licensing. Completion of the examinations will allow the therapist to use the CRT (Certified Respiratory Therapist) and RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) credentials. Additionally, there are several specialty examinations the RRT may take to advance professional opportunities.

 Licensure Requirements to Practice

Licensing is required in most states to work as a respiratory therapist. Many states, including Indiana, use the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential offered by the NBRC as part of the licensing process, however some now require the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

For further information contact:
Janice Johnson, Program Director
Respiratory Therapy Program
Wile Hall 652
1701 N. Senate Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Phone: (317) 962-8475
E-mail: IRTEC@iuhealth.org

Updated:March 2018