About Respiratory Therapy


About Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people whose lungs are diseased. They provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema and give emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning, or shock.

Respiratory Therapists are health care professionals whose responsibilities include the diagnostic evaluation, management, education, rehabilitation and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. The scope of practice includes the application of technology and the use of treatment protocols across all care sites including, but not limited to, the hospital, clinic, physician's office, rehabilitation facility, skilled nursing facility and the patient's home.

The practice of respiratory care encompasses activities in diagnostic evaluation, therapy, and education of the patient, family and public. These activities are supported by education, research and administration. Diagnostic activities include but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining and analyzing physiological specimens
  • Interpreting physiological data
  • Performing tests and studies of the cardiopulmonary system
  • Performing neurophysiological studies
  • Performing sleep disorder studies

Therapy includes but is not limited to the application and monitoring of:

  • Medical gases and environmental control systems
  • Mechanical ventilator support
  • Artificial airway care
  • Bronchopulmonary hygiene
  • Pharmacological agents related to respiratory care procedures
  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • Hemodynamic cardiovascular support

The focus of patient and family education activities is to promote knowledge and understanding of the disease process, medical therapy and self help. Public education activities focus on the promotion of cardiopulmonary wellness.

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Mission Statement

The mission of Kent State University at Ashtabula’s Respiratory Therapy Program is to prepare competent practitioners with the skills, knowledge and ability to become qualified professionals that deliver high quality, culturally diverse care in a global society.

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Goals and Outcomes


  • 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 (RRTs).


  • Students shall demonstrate knowledge of respiratory care principles and current theories and practices required of registered respiratory therapists as defined by nationally accepted guidelines by the National Board of Respiratory Care.
  • Students shall professionally and fluently exhibit technical skills and procedures utilized in current practice by registered respiratory therapists.
  • Students shall express personal professional ethics and behaviors expected of registered respiratory therapists in practice to obtain and maintain a positive impact in patient care and inter-staff relations.

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