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Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory Therapy


As a Respiratory Therapist, you deal with one of the critical life-sustaining functions of the human body-breathing. Most people take breathing for granted. It is a second nature, an involuntary reflex. But for the thousands of individuals who suffer from breathing problems, each breath is a major accomplishment. Respiratory Therapists evaluate patients and administer treatments to improve their breathing, as well as implement and monitor life support therapies. Respiratory services are needed by patients of all ages, from the pre-mature infant with underdeveloped lungs, to the geriatric patient who has developed pulmonary disease. Therapists are a vital part of the hospital’s lifesaving response team that answers to patient emergencies.

The Respiratory Therapy Program at RSCC is a 5-semester program that prepares graduates to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Students gain knowledge and theory through the use of classroom lectures and discussions. Technical skills are taught in the laboratory setting with, the merging of theory and technical performance in the clinical setting. Class size is conducive to excellent student-instructor interaction and individualized attention.

Visit the American Association for Respiratory Care Web page to watch a video and gain more information about the Respiratory Therapy profession.

Work Setting

Respiratory Therapists work primarily in the hospital setting. However, employment opportunities are increasing in home care facilities and skilled nursing facilities. Therapists are also employed in physician offices, rehabilitation centers, and equipment sales.

Credentialing Requirements

Upon successful completion of the Respiratory Therapy Program, the graduate is eligible to take the advanced level registry exams offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, (NBRC). Graduates who successfully complete the exams are awarded the RRT credential.


The Respiratory Therapy Program is taught at the Knox County Center for Health Sciences. Clinical affiliates are located primarily in the Knoxville area with hospitals available in Cookeville and Cumberland County for those students from the Cumberland Plateau.


The Respiratory Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX  76021-4244; (817) 283-9403;

Program Costs

The cost of registration, uniforms, textbooks, liability insurance, licensing examination fees, criminal background checks and physical exam averages approximately $3,500 per year. The greatest expenses can be expected in the first and last semesters. All expenses are subject to change.

Roane State Tuition & Fees
All tuition and fees are subject to change by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

* Program courses that are taken in an online format are subject to a distance education fee. A Specialized Allied Health Science Fee of $25 per credit hour will be applied to all Allied Health Science courses. See Tuition and Fees link above.

Books, Supplies and Additional Program Expenses
(Visit for book titles and prices)

Supplies: approximately $150 (uniforms, stethoscope etc;)
Liability Insurance: $30
Physical Examination and Immunizations
Health Care Provider Level “C” CPR Certification
Criminal Background Check: $65.00
Graduation Fee: $25.00
Mock Examinations: $150.00
Licensure Fees: $120.00
Credentialing Exam Fees: $600.00
Review Course (recommended): $300.00

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Roane State Community College is a TBR and AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities. View full non-discrimination policy.

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