Program Advisors: Dr. Will Beachey (Department Chair), Jessica Arndt, Christine Sperle
Respiratory Therapy is a four-year baccalaureate degree program which consists of two years of pre-professional college preparation (freshman and sophomore years) followed by two-years of professional preparation (junior and senior years).
The pre-professional liberal arts curriculum includes biology, chemistry, math, physics, humanities, social-behavioral sciences, and philosophy/theology requirements. The professional program is located at St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck (faculty offices, laboratory, classroom and clinical facilities), and is co-sponsored by the University of Mary and St. Alexius Medical Center. The curriculum consists of classroom, laboratory and clinical practicum courses, including over 1100 hours of supervised experience in direct patient interaction.
Students who complete the accredited professional program and all degree requirements are eligible to take the credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) leading to the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. Licensure requirements in the state of North Dakota (and in all other states) are also met by successful completion of the NBRC examinations.
The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (B.S.R.T.) degree is granted to students who successfully fulfill University of Mary Respiratory Therapy Program requirements. The Respiratory Therapy Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 1248 Harwood Road Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, telephone (817) 283-2835.
To prepare students to become competent registered respiratory therapists who think critically; engage in evidence-based practice; function as expert resources to physicians and other healthcare professionals; assume leadership roles; and interact respectfully and compassionately with others, regardless of cultural background, values, and lifestyles.
Respiratory Therapy Pre-Med Track
This option allows students to take all courses required for admission to most medical schools while completing requirements for the B.S.R.T. degree. After completing the degree, graduates may, at their option, apply for admission to medical school; if accepted, they may decide to work as a respiratory therapist before and during medical school. Regardless of medical school admission status, graduates have a marketable professional credential in healthcare.
To qualify for admission consideration, students must complete all pre-professional requirements with a minimum grade of "C" in each course and an overall grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Students who successfully complete these pre-professional requirements are eligible to apply for admission to the professional Respiratory Therapy Program. Completion of pre-professional requirements does not guarantee admission to the professional program; separate application must be made to the Respiratory Therapy Department. Personal interviews, academic performance, and letters of reference are used in the admission process. The professional program application deadline is February 15 of the sophomore year for admission to the fall semester of the same year. Prospective applicants should make an appointment with the Respiratory therapy department chair (701-530-7757; email@example.com) to tour the St. Alexius Medical Center and to arrange for a job shadow experience to learn more about the responsibilities and duties of respiratory therapists. Application forms can be accessed from the University's Pre-Respiratory Therapy Advisor.
If the class number does not reach its maximum capacity by the application deadline, a rolling admissions policy will be followed. Students must meet all criteria previously outlined and participate in the formal interview process. Rolling admissions are considered until the first day of class in the fall. Applicants will be reviewed based on the time of submissions of a completed application.
Respiratory therapists are essential members of the modern healthcare team and work in collaboration with physicians and other health professionals in adult and newborn intensive care units, hospital emergency rooms, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, sleep-related breathing disorders clinics, and in the home. Program graduates are prepared to assess patients, develop a plan of care, implement therapy, evaluate its effectiveness and modify treatment as appropriate. Patients include critically or chronically ill individuals suffering from a variety of respiratory and cardiac problems. In addition to treatment, therapists perform various complex diagnostic and monitoring procedures to assist the physician in devising an appropriate care strategy. In the home, outpatient and community settings, respiratory therapists provide education to patients and families in the day-to-day self-management of chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); tobacco cessation is an important aspect of these educational efforts.
Upon graduation from the respiratory therapy program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the physiological bases for all therapeutic interventions and diagnostic procedures in all areas of respiratory therapy practice
- Demonstrate proficiency in implementing all respiratory therapy treatment and diagnostic procedures
- Demonstrate proficiency in interpreting physical exam findings, cardiopulmonary monitoring data, laboratory data, and diagnostic imaging information
- Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills as consultants to physicians and other healthcare personnel in developing cardiopulmonary care strategies
- Demonstrate proficiency in establishing an evidence base for best practice through research and the critique and interpretation of the professional scientific literature
- Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical obligations and responsibilities of healthcare professionals and institutions
- Demonstrate knowledge of the legal, social and economic environments in which the healthcare institutions function
- Demonstrate effective cross-cultural and interdisciplinary human interaction skills in the healthcare setting and the broader community
- Demonstrate knowledge of current issues and trends in healthcare, including public policy, access and reimbursement issues
- Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication
- Educate patients and the general public in matters of cardiopulmonary health and chronic disease management
- Demonstrate leadership abilities as a member of the healthcare team.
Transfer students completing respiratory therapy program prerequuisites at other regionally accredited colleges and universities are welcome to apply to the respiratory therapy program; professional courses in the respiratory therapy curriculum fulfill the University of Mary's residency requirement for the baccalaureate degree. Transfer students must also meet the University of Mary's liberal arts graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. Academic advising for transfer students occurs through the Office of Addmission at 701-355- 8030, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduates prepared by CoARC-accredited associate degree therapist-level programs may pursue the Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy at the University of Mary if they meet the following requirements; they must:
- Hold at least the Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician (CRT) credential and be eligible to take the registered respiratory therapist (RRT) examinations. A notarized copy of the CRT certificate must be submitted to the Professional Therapy Program. Those who hold the RRT credential should submit a notarized copy of the RRT certificate.
- Apply for admission to both the University of Mary and the Respiratory Therapy Program.
- Submit all Respiratory Therapy course descriptions (and, course syllabi) from their former programs to the Professional Respiratory Therapy Program. Department Applicants must meet all preprofessional course and GPA requirements as outlined in the previous section on admission and must have earned a grade of C or higher in each prior respiratory therapy course. Contingent on a review of former college course syllabi and an evaluation of clinical skills, admitted applicants may be offered credit by examination or advanced placement.
- Interview with the Respiratory Therapy Program Admission Committee.
Respiratory Therapy Essential Functional Requirements
In addition to admission criteria, qualified applicants are expected to meet essential functional requirements of the respiratory therapy profession. Students requesting reasonable accommodation to meet these requirements must inform the Program Director in writing of the need for such accommodations at the time of application. Essential functional requirements include cognitive, motor and behavioral abilities.
Respiratory therapy students must be able to: move quickly in confined spaces; sit and stand while maintaining balance; stand in-place for prolonged periods; reach above the shoulders and below the waist; twist, stoop, squat; climb stairs; walk rapidly (emergency situations); precisely manipulate small instruments and pieces of equipment; squeeze forcefully with hands; write with a pen; key information into a computer; lift and carry 30 pounds; have sufficient physical strength and mobility to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation; hear, see, feel with fingers, smell; distinguish colors; read, write and comprehend English; interpret written information; identify cause and effect relationships; add, subtract, multiply and divide; tell and measure time; orally communicate and interact with others; speak on the telephone; establish rapport with others (patients, co-workers); establish appropriate emotional and interpersonal boundaries; maintain effectiveness under stress and strong emotions.
Major in Respiratory Therapy: ANT 171, BIO 207, 208, 209; CHE 109, 110 or CHE 111, 112; COM 110; ENG 121; MAT 103; NUR 317; THE 382 or PHI 482; PHY 203; PSY 201; RTH 301, 305, 307, 320, 335, 411, 416, 418, 420, 422, 426, 427, 428, 430, 436, 438, 441, 450 and 452
Major in Respiratory Therapy with Pre-Med Track: In addition to (or in place of) the course in the Respiratory Therapy major: BIO 103: CHE 111, 112 (to replace the CHE 109, 110 sequence), CHE 217, 318 (CHE 310 is recommended); PHY 304.
Students may choose from among several electives to complete requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree.