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Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists work patients that require respiratory and cardiac care. Work settings include hospitals, nursing homes, home care, and clinics.

The Respiratory Therapy Program at Catawba Valley Community College was established in 1991. This program offers career education for individuals interested in becoming a respiratory therapist. The respiratory therapist is qualified to assume primary responsibility for respiratory and cardiac care. The therapist makes patient care decisions concerning the use of life-support systems, oxygen therapy and other breathing treatments. They also perform heart and lung studies. Upon graduation from the therapist program, the student receives the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree.

Graduates of the Respiratory Therapy Program are eligible to apply for admission to take Respiratory Therapy student intubating a mannequinexaminations from the National Board for Respiratory Care. Successful completion culminates in the RRT credential. This credential is required to become licensed in North Carolina.

Employment settings for graduates of the Respiratory Therapy Program include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, education, industry, and home care.

The department is housed in the Cuyler A. Dunbar Building and departmental facilities include classroom and laboratory facilities as well as ValleySim Hospital and computer lab access. Maximum student enrollment per year is 15.

The respiratory therapy program is designed to be completed in 5 semesters although many students choose to extend their course work over a longer span of time.

The Respiratory Therapy Program CoARC #200407 is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Accreditation Information

» Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244
(817) 283-2835

Outcomes data for the program can be found at COARC Programmatic Outcomes Data

Please see the catalog for more information about the degree option for this curriculum.


Faculty and Staff

Catherine A. Bitsche, EdS, RRT-NPS, RCP Program Director

BS, University of Oklahoma
MA, Appalachian State University
EdS, Appalachian State University
(828) 327-7000, ext. 4391


Jason Elder, BS, RRT, RCP
Director of Clinical Education
BS, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
(828) 327-7000, ext. 4083


Questions about Admission?

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