RPT School Information

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If you are a student of Jefferson State Community College, you may want to know some information about the RPT program. For your information RPT stands for Respiratory Therapy. The program is offered at the Shelby-Hoover Campus. Admission into the program is competitive and a ranking formula is used to determine acceptance into the program.

Mission & Goals – RPT

Program Mission

To prepare the students as the competent registry-level respiratory therapists through a comprehensive didactic, laboratory and clinical curriculum following the accreditation requirements of CoARC.

Program Goal

To prepare the graduates with demonstrated competence in the psychomotor (skills), cognitive (knowledge), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist).

After completion of the program, the graduates are going to demonstrate:

  • The ability to understand and evaluate information relevant to their role as therapist.
  • The proficiency technical in all skills to fulfill their role as an advanced therapist.
  • Personal behaviors that are consistent with the professional and employer expectations as an advanced therapist.

Essential Functions – RPT  

Need to know that Respiratory therapists are responsible for treatments, assessments, diagnostic testing, and having critical thinking skills. Also, they are responsible for all patients in a healthcare or homecare setting, particularly the patients with cardiopulmonary diseases. The students in the RTP program must have an ability to do procedures, treatments, and testing within the scope of practice. Crucial functions include, however are not limited to the following:


  • The students must have the ability to communicate appropriately and efficiently with a diverse population, for example: hospital staff, patients, and patients’ family members.
  • Deliver thoughts in verbal and written form
  • Utilize and interpret appropriate non-verbal communication


  • The Students must have the strength and physical ability to do suffice patient care.
  • The students must be able to move the patients, equipment, and other related items without causing personal harm or harm to others


  • The students should be able to properly perform patient assessments, operate equipment safely, and do procedures at a competent level.

Hearing and Vision:

  • The students must have good hearing and vision to assess patients properly.
  • Join in all aspects of patient care relates to the respiratory care scope of practice.
  • Read letters, numbers, and words in small print or on electronic devices such as hospital computers, paper exams, etc.
  • Hear low and high frequency sounds, such as monitor alarms, telephones, and emergency signals.


  • The students must have good mental and emotional health to work effectively in a hospital or clinical environment.
  • The students will likely be exposed to high-stress medical conditions which need a certain level of mental and emotional stability.

Technical Standards – RPT

To do the tasks of a respiratory therapist, specific physical, reasoning and communication capabilities are needed. The students have to show their ability to do functions as a routine part of classroom, laboratory or clinical education. Also, the students must be aware that successful completion of the RPT program is going to depend upon the ability to meet the technical standards.

Examples of technical skills include:

A reasonable amount of the strength and mobility are required to work in a clinical setting effectively for 8 to 12 hours per day:

  • Move, push or lift heavy equipment, especially ventilators, therapy equipment, the wheelchairs with patients in them
  • Help in lifting the patients who are paralyzed, comatose or incapacitated, from the patient beds and or their wheelchairs
  • Give physical assistance and care for patients properly in all circumstances
  • Reach overhead to manipulate ventilator arms, monitoring equipment, etc.

Manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination and good motor skills are necessary to:

  • Install, operate, and manipulate equipment.
  • Don and doff sterile gloves and other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Manipulate a needle and syringe to prepare medications.
  • Prepare equipment
  • Do routine and complex therapies
  • Palpate pulses for puncture.
  • Do airway management
  • Do chest compressions during CPR and ventilate a patient manually

Sensory function in upper limbs is necessary to palpate blood vessels for blood sampling.

The ability to hear faint sounds is needed to:

  • Assess breath sounds
  • Respond to patient needs because ventilator alarms may be muffled due to ICU noise
  • Check equipment operation or dysfunction that may be indicated by low intensity sounds.
  • Function when the utilize of surgical masks are needed for protection of the patient or hospital personnel
  • Respond emergency calls from the hospital public address system

Visual acuity or the ability to see fine lines to:

  • Read the patient monitor values and ventilator values in dimly lit surroundings
  • Read the waveform graphic monitors

The ability to communicate in English language (orally and in writing) is a requirement for RTs to:

  • Record patient histories
  • Monitor patient progress
  • Give clear and audible directions once speaking to others directly
  • Give accurate information when discussing patient management with the physicians and other support staff
  • Communicate information on the patient’s status with accuracy for appropriate interaction with the physicians, supervisors and other members of the health care team.

The abilities of cognitive and intellectual to:

  • Measure, calculate and analyze data
  • Make the assessments properly
  • Use sound judgement
  • Prioritize therapeutic interventions appropriately
  • Measure and record the patient care outcomes.

Having acceptable mental or attitudinal standards to:

  • Function safely, and calmly under stressful conditions
  • Maintain composure when managing lots of tasks simultaneously
  • Prioritize many tasks
  • Show social skills needed to interact with patients, families, supervisors and coworkers effectively, of the same or different cultures such as politeness, respect, tact, collaboration, teamwork and discretion
  • Show actions consistent with the ethical standards of profession

About Jefferson State Community College RPT (Respiratory Therapy)

The Jefferson State Community College RPT (Respiratory Therapy) has a 76-semester credit hour program. The program of RPT consists of general education classes, the clinical activities and the RPT (Respiratory Therapy) classes. The Jefferson State Community College RPT (Respiratory Therapy) program is offered at the Shelby-Hoover Campus. It is located in the Judy M. Merritt Health Sciences Building. Admission into the program is very competitive and a ranking formula is used to determine acceptance into the RPT (Respiratory Therapy) program.

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