Academic Catalogs

Respiratory Care, Associate in Science Degree

Financial Aid Eligible
Banner Code: 1_AS_RSPC
Control Number: 04007

Respiratory Care is an allied health specialty dealing with the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with acute and chronic diseases affecting the pulmonary system. Respiratory Care Practitioners/Respiratory Therapists work in all areas within the
hospital, especially within the critical care areas with patients who are in a life-threatening phase of their illness. Additionally, some Respiratory Care Practitioners/Respiratory Therapists work with home care agencies to treat patients in their homes. Duties include analysis of pulmonary function and arterial blood gases, life support ventilation, CPR, assessment of pulmonary status, airway care, plus other related duties. Specialties in Respiratory Care include adult critical care, neonatal and pediatric critical care, pulmonary function testing, home care and rehabilitation, management, and education.

The Respiratory Care program at Orange Coast College is a two-year Associate in Science Degree program beginning each fall semester. Courses within the program include lectures, skills application of procedures and techniques in a laboratory setting on
campus, and approximately 1000 hours of clinical practice. Clinical practice is within area hospitals performing the latest procedures in medicine. There is also a series including discussions with physicians.

The Respiratory Care program at Orange Coast College is a fully accredited entry-level practitioner program, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Program graduates are eligible candidates for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Licensure in the state of California as a Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP) requires the RRT credential and satisfying all other requirements for licensure set forth by the Respiratory Care Board of California. The employment outlook for Respiratory Care Practitioners/ Respiratory Therapists is good throughout the United States.

National Credential: CRT and RRT issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care. State License: Respiratory Care Practitioner issued by the Respiratory Care Board of California.

Program Admission

  1. Allied Health A010 course – application and orientation.
  2. The student must complete the general education requirements for Mathematics and English composition for the Associate in Science Degree and the program prerequisites prior to acceptance to the program.

Program Outcomes

  1. The outcome of the program is to prepare students as competent Respiratory Care Practitioners for employment in the field as respiratory care professionals providing cognitive, psychomotor, and affective qualities to meet community needs.

Employment possibilities include:

  • Registered Respiratory Therapist
  • Respiratory Therapy Specialist
  • Respiratory Care Practitioner

Associate in Science Degree Requirements

  1. UNIT REQUIREMENT60 UNITS, with at least a 2.0 grade point average. At least 12 of the units must be earned at OCC, with a minimum of one course taken for a letter grade. At least 3 units in an advanced course from the program must be completed at OCC. A student must be enrolled at the time of application for graduation. Units earned at an accredited college or university on a credit/no credit basis will be counted toward the degree requirements of the college, to a maximum of 15 units.
  2. MAJOR REQUIREMENT - Complete the AA or AS major requirements as detailed in the Degree and Certificate section of this catalog.
  3. MATHEMATICS REQUIREMENT - Demonstrate competence in mathematics by either obtaining a satisfactory grade (grade of “C” or better or“pass”) in a mathematics course at or above the level of Intermediate Algebra as demonstrated by prior coursework, or by demonstrating competency that is comparable through the completion of a college-level math course that has Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite: Psychology A160 or Math A100 or higher, with the exception of Math A220.
  4. GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT - Students may choose to complete Option 1 (OCC AA GE), Option 1 (OCC AS GE), Option 2 (CSU GE), or Option 3 (IGETC) to satisfy the general education requirement. See the General Education Patterns section of this catalog for more information.

Program Prerequisites

Course Title Units
AS Degree GE must be completed for program admission.
ALH A010Health Occupations0.5
ALH A111Medical Terminology3
BIOL A221Anatomy-Physiology4
CHEM A110Introduction to Chemistry5
MATH A030Intermediate Algebra (or higher)4
Total Units16.5
Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
ALH A115 Patient Care 2.5
ALH A120 Human Diseases 2
BIOL A114 Basic Microbiology 2
RSPC A185 Respiratory Anatomy and Physiology 3
RSPC A190 Basic Respiratory Care Equipment 3
RSPC A195 Respiratory Pharmacology 1
ALH A130 Applied Pharmacology 3
RSPC A191 Clinical Lab 1 1.5
RSPC A260 Arterial Blood Gases, Theory and Practice 2
RSPC A275 Respiratory Care Procedures 3
PSG A100 Polysomnography Basics 1
RSPC A192 Clinical Lab 2 3
Year 2
RSPC A265 Pulmonary Pathology 3
RSPC A270 Ventilators and Respiratory Management 3
RSPC A276 Clinical Lab 3 4
RSPC A279 Physician Series 1 0.5
RSPC A255 Home Care and Rehabilitation 1
RSPC A278 Pulmonary Case Assessment 1
RSPC A280 Advanced Monitoring, Procedures and Therapies in Critical Care 2
RSPC A285 Pulmonary Function Testing 1
RSPC A286 Clinical Lab 4 3
RSPC A287 Clinical Internship 2
RSPC A290 Neonatal Intensive Care 2
RSPC A296 Respiratory Care Board Review 1
 Total Units50.5
Requirement Units
Minimum Program Major Units 67
AS General Education Option 1, 2, or 3 Varies
Total Degree Units 82

Polysomnography Cross-Training Option

This option is recommended for Respiratory Care graduates who would like to cross-train as Polysomnographic Technologists. Upon completing the cross-training courses, students will earn an additional AS in Polysomnography.

Program Option Prerequisite

Requirement Units
Respiratory Care Associate in Science Degree 82
Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
NDT A110 Basic Electroencephalography 4
PSG A150 Intermediate Polysomnography 3
PSG A160 Polysomnography Testing 2
PSG A165 Polysomnography Clinical 1 1
PSG A170 Polysomnographic Practice 0.5
PSG A175 Polysomnography Clinical 2 1 1
HMDV A180 Child Growth and Development 3
NDT A115 Advanced Electroencephalography 4
NDT A190 Introduction to Neuro Anatomy and Physiology 3
PSG A250 Polysomnograpy Record Review 2
PSG A260 Advanced Polysomnography 3
PSG A265 Polysomnography Clinical 3 2
PSG A270 Physician Lecture Series 1
PSG A285 Polysomnography Internship 2
 Total Units31.5
Requirement Units
Total Units 113.5