Welcome to Hutchinson Community College

Respiratory Care - AAS

The goal of this program is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRT's). Respiratory therapists perform diagnostic tests and provide treatments to patients with heart and breathing problems. Graduates of the program will be prepared for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exam(s).


A respiratory therapist primary goal is for the prevention, education, treatment, management, and rehabilitation involving people with lung disorders. A respiratory therapist is involved in a variety of patient care areas including those requiring life saving measures, working side by side with nurses and doctors treating a variety of patients from the very young, born with immature lungs, to the elderly fighting chronic diseases. To assist patients in their care, a respiratory therapist also draws arterial blood gases and uses sophisticated equipment in the treatment and diagnosis of lung and cardiac disorders. We are often considered the experts in the field of ventilator management.


Hutchinson Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional institutional accreditors recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Program Details

  • Admission

    The Respiratory Therapist program begins in August of each year.  Approximately 18 applicants are admitted each year according to the guidelines set forth by CoARC (Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care).  Applications will be accepted from August 1st – April 15th. 

    Admission Steps:

    1. Apply for admission to Hutchinson Community College at http://www.hutchcc.edu/apply or visit http://www.hutchcc.edu/admission
    2. Submit official High School/GED transcripts and all other college transcripts to Hutchinson Community College, Records Office, 1300 N. Plum, Hutchinson, KS 67501.
    3. Applications to the Respiratory Therapy program are accepted from August 1 until April 15 of the following year for those applicants who wish to be considered for the following Fall program start. If an applicant is reapplying to the program, we ask that they submit an additional essay explaining why they should be considered for the program for respiratory care after being offered and declining a position in a previous year. All prerequisites must be completed within 7yrs of beginning the program and before the start of the program for a student to be admitted.  Any applicant who fails to meet the prerequisite requirements before the start of the program will be dropped from the program. To obtain an application packet, email Annette Kershaw at respiratorytherapy@hutchcc.edu.
    4. Once the application has been submitted, schedule an interview appointment by calling 620-694-2456.
    5. Complete program pre-requisites:

      **All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of C or higher before the program begins. GPA for all general education coursework within the RT curriculum must be completed at a GPA of 2.33 or higher.

      • MA105: Intermediate Algebra
      • HR105: Medical Terminology
      • BI103: Human Anatomy and Physiology
    6. If there are more than 16 applicants, the admission process will be evaluated with a point system. A sample of the scoring sheet is available upon request. Applicants are rank-ordered based upon the total prerequisite and general course grade points the student has achieved. The top 16 applicants are accepted into the program, provided that all other admission conditions have been met.
    7. Upon acceptance to the program, a comprehensive physical, drug screen, and background check will be required, along with current vaccinations. The cost for this will be handled by the student.
    8. For further information, contact the Allied Health Advisor at 620-728-8100 or 800-289-3501 ext. 8100), or the Respiratory Therapist Program Director, Teresa Pauls, at 620-665-4928 or paulst@hutchcc.edu.
    9. If you need assistance with paying for college, please, apply for financial aid at www.fafsa.edu.gov and also check out HutchCC Scholarship opportunities at https://www.hutchcc.edu/types-of-aid to see if you qualify.

    Course Semester Layout

  • Program Cost
  • Outcomes

    For information on our accreditation status and program outcomes visit https://coarc.com/students/programmatic-outcomes-data/ 

  • Technical Standards

    Students in the Allied Health Department must have the following minimum abilities:

    • Observation – Students must be able to observe lectures and demonstrations.
    • Communication – Students must be able to use multiple communication techniques including verbal, nonverbal, written, group processes and information technology in order to communicate with instructors, peers, health professionals, patients and others.
    • Be able to speak, comprehend, read and write in English.
    • Motor Function – Students must possess the skills necessary to carry out the procedures in their discipline.
    • Intellectual/Conceptual/Integrative/Quantitative – Students must read, understand and be able to discuss information from reading.
    • Acquire and apply information from classroom instruction, lectures, laboratory experience, independent learning, and team projects.

    Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, evaluate, and process information

    • Behavioral, Emotional, and Social – Students must possess the emotional health required for full use of his or her intellectual abilities.
    • Be able to maintain professionalism under stress.
    • Develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with others.
    • Adapt to changing environments.
    • Work cooperatively with instructors, peers, health professionals, patients, and others.
    • Physical Endurance – Students must possess physical stamina sufficient to complete assignments within the allotted time.

    Respiratory Therapy Technical Standards

    • Intellectual and Emotional Maturity: To ensure patient safety and to exercise independent judgment in the performance of assigned responsibilities in stressful situations.Visual Ability: Acuity must be sufficient to assess clients in their environment and to implement the respiratory care plans that are developed from such assessments.
    • Hearing Ability: Must be sufficient to assess and respond to clients in their environments and be able to hear & respond to various alarm functions in the midst of background sounds.
    • Factory Ability: Must be sufficient to assess and respond to the clients in their environments and to implement the respiratory care plans that are developed for such assessments.
    • Tactile Ability: Must be sufficient to assess and treat clients in their environments and to implement the respiratory care plans that are developed for such assessments.
    • Gross & Fine motor skills: Must be sufficient to perform psychomotor skills necessary for client care. The student and faculty member must be able to lift 50 pounds and be able to maneuver equipment and patients under various clinic situations.
    • Ability to speak, comprehends, read and write in English at a level that effectively communicates with clients, families, significant others, and groups respecting social-cultural, and spiritual diversity.
    • Endurance: Must be able to endure being on their feet for 12 hours shifts, moving around the clinic area, and transporting patients to and from various medical procedures in and out of elevators with only limited breaks.

Program Links

Agreement with KU 

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