Respiratory Therapy

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High Skill, High Demand

Program Overview

Respiratory Therapy is the health care discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function and health. Respiratory therapists apply scientific principles to prevent, identify, and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Their knowledge of the scientific principles underlying cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, as well as biomedical engineering and technology, enable them to effectively assess, educate, and treat patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists are involved in many specialty areas such as: Adult Intensive Care; Neonatal and Pediatric ICU; Pulmonary Function Laboratory; Sleep Laboratory; Home Care; Rehabilitation; Ground and air critical care transport.

The Respiratory Therapy program at Northwest Tech is designed to provide you with the necessary skills and related technical information to work as an entry-level therapist in the medical field. The curriculum is directly related to career standards and employment opportunities. Instruction includes both lab and classroom situations with the emphasis on clinical components.

  • Demonstrate professionalism.
  • Apply standard medical terminology to define and translate common medical terms.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of laws, theories, concepts and/or principles to clinical situations.
  • Demonstrate basic patient assessment skills to include vital signs, breath sounds, palpation, percussion and patient interview.
  • Identify and explain the functions of anatomical structures.
  • Demonstrate laboratory and clinical proficiency in selection, assembly, application, monitoring and troubleshooting various pieces of respiratory therapy equipment.
  • Demonstrate mathematical and reasoning skills.
  • Demonstrate effective reading, writing, speaking, listening and time management skills.

Carrie Whitcomb, BSRT, RRT
Respiratory Therapy Instructor/Program Director
Phone: (785) 890-1581

Tracy Ostmeyer, BSRT, RRT
Instructor/Director of Clinical Education
Phone: (785) 890-1582

The Northwest Tech Respiratory Therapy program will prepare you to take the Certified Respiratory Therapy Exam (CRT) and the Registered Respiratory Therapy Exam (RRT). Generally students will take these exams in their final semester.

The Entry-Level CRT Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of entry-level respiratory therapists. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions distributed among three major content areas: clinical data, equipment, and therapeutic procedures. The CRT credential is a prerequisite for admission to the Registry Examination.

The Registry Examination System was developed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of advanced respiratory therapists, and to set uniform standards for measuring such knowledge. The RRT Examinations consist of a written portion and a clinical simulation portion.

For more information, contact a Northwest Tech Respiratory Therapy instructor or the National Board of Respiratory Care:

NBRC Executive Office
18000 W. 105th Street
Olathe, KS 66061-7543
Toll-Free: 888.341.4811
Phone: 913.895.4900
Fax: 913.895.4650

Listed cost information includes tuition, additional fees, books, supplies, iPads, clothing and tools if necessary. For a comprehensive breakdown of each program’s cost information download Northwest Tech’s Estimated Program Costs worksheet.

The projected job outlook for respiratory therapists is excellent. Career opportunities for respiratory therapists are expected to grow 28% from 2010-2020. This is a higher than the national average for all jobs, which is between 10 and 19%.

100% pass rate on the CRT exam and 100% job placement for the past 3 years.  @015, 2016 and 2017.

Program Length

Two Years

Associate of Applied Science
(or Technical Certificate)

Projected Salary

$40,000-45,000 per year

Course Outline

Download a PDF version of the course outline.

  • Dr. Kali Rubenthaler, DO
  • Marlyce Campbell
  • Chris Fulwider, RRT
  • Kim Horenik, RRT
  • Jason Johnson, RRT
  • Kevin Johnson, RRT
  • Isidro Morales, CRT
  • LaDonna Sauer, CRT, RPSGT
  • Dana Wilkening, RRT
  • Linda Hopper, RRT
  • Karen Hooker, RRT, RN
  • Roy Palmer, RRT
  • Brett Palmer, RRT
  • Danny Van Ranken, RRT
  • Tracy Thompson, RRT
  • Jackie Harvey, RRT

Admissions Checklist

Below is a list of items Northwest Tech’s Admissions Team will need prior to your acceptance into the Respiratory Therapy program.

  • A Northwest Tech Application Completed and Submitted

  • $25 Application Fee Paid

  • High School or GED Transcript Submitted

  • (If Applicable) College Transcript Submitted

  • ACT or AccuPlacer Scores Submitted (AccuPlacer Testing can be scheduled on-site at the Northwest Tech campus)

  • Background Check Completed

  • Certificate of Health Submitted

Additional Respiratory Therapy Required Items
Because of the nature of a Respiratory Therapist’s work, as well as the limited number of students accepted into the program (15 per year), there are additional items required for admittance into the Northwest Tech Respiratory Therapy program.

  • Two Letters of Reference
  • A Personal Statement Letter
  • A Copy of Your Immunization Record
  • An Annual TB Test
  • An Annual Flu Shot

The above-listed required items can be submitted in person at the Northwest Tech campus, via postal mail addressed to: Northwest Tech Admissions, 1209 Harrison, Goodland, KS, or through email communications with