Respiratory Care | ECTC

Respiratory Care

Help people breathe easier. Learn to use life-saving equipment and care for patients with lung or heart problems, while entering a field that’s full of opportunity.

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Keeping hearts beating and people breathing.

With a degree as a Respiratory Therapist, you would provide effective treatment of respiratory and cardiac disorders, including using life-support equipment and intervening in emergencies and traumas.  Imagine: it could be 7:30 a.m., and you've already brought a newborn back to life.  Career and advancement opportunities are excellent, especially for those willing to travel or relocate.  With faster-than-average growth, this profession has a bright future with job security and room for advancement. 

What are my career choices?

Respiratory Therapists perform cardiopulmonary testing, evaluate patients, and plan care.  Hospitals employ most respiratory therapists, but other employers, including home care providers, medical clinics, nursing homes, ambulance services, and rehabilitation centers, hire RT’s. 

What classes do I have to take?

Supporting sciences, math, communications, and specialized courses in cardiac and respiratory care.  We combine classroom theory and laboratory experience with clinical experience in hospitals and homes.

What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?

Degrees and Transfers

ECTC has numerous partnerships with 4-year universities. If you are interested in a transfer pathway in this field, check out our partnering university pathways. Find more information on transferring from ECTC.

Certificate Options

Field Licensure Requirements

Upon completion of the program, graduates in KENTUCKY must pass the National Board of Respiratory Care exam to become certified.  Some states require students to become registered.  This program prepares students for the registry exam.

Refer to the Respiratory Care Program Guide (PDF, 17 pages) for specific program requirements.

Where do I start?

First, you will need to be enrolled at the college.  Apply for admission to ECTC to receive information from the Admissions Office about submitting your placement test scores (ACT or other exams) and to schedule a meeting with an advisor to register for your classes.

What are the admission requirements?

This program also has additional requirements for admission.  Contact us for more information.

Note: The Kentucky Board for Respiratory Care may deny mandatory certification for convicted felons.  Questions should be directed to the Kentucky Board for Respiratory Care.

Note: Computer literacy must be documented by competency exam or by completing a computer literacy course.


Accreditation Standards

The Respiratory Care Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The program number is 200548. This is the website:

“CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.” The link for programmatic outcomes can be found here:


Length of Program

You can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status.

This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog.  You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.

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Contact Information

Respiratory Care Office

RPC 3rd Floor Room 331

(270) 706-8462

Program Director

Rebecca A. Higdon, MS, RRT-NPS

Director of Clinical Education

Stephanie Brothers, MAE, RRT

RPC 332

(270) 706-8660

Additional Respiratory Care Program Information