Respiratory Therapy

Associate of Applied Science

Admission Procedures

Program Description:

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in the Respiratory Therapy program is a sequence of courses designed to prepare graduates to assist physicians in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with cardiopulmonary dysfunction. Conditions requiring respiratory care include asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, infant respiratory distress syndrome, and conditions brought on by trauma and postoperative surgical complications. Respiratory Therapists treat a diverse group of patients ranging from newborns and children to adults and the elderly.

Length of Program: A minimum of five (5) semesters is required to complete the RESP Occupational Core Courses.

Entrance Dates: Students may take pre-respiratory occupational courses at any time. Each summer a new group of students is selected to begin the professional respiratory courses in the upcoming fall semester.

In order to be considered for acceptance to the Respiratory Therapy program:

  • Acceptance to Dalton State College;
  • Must be at least 18 years of age;
  • Minimum cumulative college Grade Point Average of 2.50/4.00;
  • Have completed required preprogram college courses: ENGL 1101; MATH 1111; BIOL 2212K and 2213K and 2215K; and CHEM 1151K or 1211K;
  • Have earned at least a “C” in each preprogram course. Preprogram science courses taken more than five years prior to enrollment in the program will be evaluated by the Respiratory Therapy program faculty and may need to be repeated. Only courses that had the same documented content and hours of credit will be accepted and then only if the applicant has applied the knowledge of the course through documented work experience in a hospital, lab, pharmacy, or patient care setting.
  • Coursework from other Coarc accredited Respiratory Therapy Programs will be examined on an individual basis. Catalog descriptions of transferring courses will be required. Testing to determine competency may also be required. Decisions on student placement will be determined on the basis of these criteria.
  • Submit a completed program application by May 25 preceding the fall semester in which the applicant wishes to enroll in RESP 1100. Applications may be downloaded from this website or may be requested from the Respiratory Therapy program director by calling 706.272.2657.
  • Complete Interview Process

Admission Selection Process:

Admission selection is competitive and each applicant is awarded points for the following:

  • College GPA;
  • Number of college credits completed;
  • Prior work experience;
  • References’ recommendations;
  • GPA of required pre-program science courses;
  • Student Interview.

The Respiratory Care Professional (RCP) is a caregiver with the responsibility of providing life supporting therapies and diagnostic services. Implied in this care giving role are essential job functions that require the RCP to demonstrate certain cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills. The performance of these job functions must be consistent with the expectation that the RCP must not place himself/herself, a fellow worker, or the patient in jeopardy.

The purpose of the following is to identify the essential functional requirements of the RCP in the categories of visual acuity, hearing, physical ability, speech, manual dexterity, and mental stress. The examples below are not all inclusive.

Physical Standards for Respiratory Care Professionals:

The respiratory student must be able to:

  1. Work in a clinical setting eight to twelve hours a day performing physical tasks without jeopardizing patient, colleague, or his own safety.
  2. Frequently bend, reach, stoop, lift, and use manual dexterity operating medical equipment, and performing necessary patient therapies. This includes sufficient tactile ability for performing a physical assessment, as well as manipulation of syringes to draw arterial blood safely without harm to patient or self.
  3. Lift devices weighing up to 50 pounds.
  4. Report visual observations of patients and equipment operations, as well as read the patient’s medical records and medical information.
  5. Adequately hear the patient during all phases of care, especially breath sounds through a stethoscope and perceive and interpret equipment signals.
  6. Communicate clearly and instruct patients before, during, and after procedures.

Mental/Attitudinal Standards for Respiratory Care Professionals:

The Respiratory Therapists must:

  1. Function calmly under stressful situations, maintain composure while managing multiple tasks simultaneously, and prioritize multiple tasks.
  2. Exhibit social skills necessary to interact effectively with patients, families, supervisors, physicians and co-workers of the same or different cultures.
  3. Maintain personal hygiene consistent with close personal contact associated with patient care.
  4. Display attitudes and actions consistent with the ethical standards of the profession as stated by the American Association of Respiratory Care. These ethical standards can be found on their website at

Additional Requirements:

  • Students must earn a “C” (75%) or better in all professional courses with the “RESP” prefix in order to proceed to the next course in the sequence. Any student failing a professional course (<75%) will not be allowed to continue in the program. The student may reapply for admission in the next program tract class. Students seeking readmission will be evaluated by the Respiratory Care faculty to determine acceptability and placement in the program. Previously completed professional courses may be accepted or may need to be repeated at the discretion of the faculty. This will depend upon the content, grade, credit hours earned and when the previous course was taken. Students who fail more than one Respiratory course or the same course twice will be dismissed from the program and will not be re-accepted. Students who fail a clinical practicum must repeat both the clinical and classroom courses covering that content.
  • Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA to graduate from the program and Dalton State College.
  • Students must abide by the policies and procedures of the Respiratory Therapy Handbook. Failure to do so may result in removal from the program.
  • Prior to participation in practicum courses, students are required to submit medical examination forms. All required immunizations, including Hepatitis B, must be accompanied by documentation. A drug test at the expense of the student must be performed before clinical practicum participation is allowed.
  • Conviction of a felony or gross misdemeanor may prohibit employment in field and may make a student ineligible to take licensing exams required for the profession. A background check is required before a student attends clinical practicum. The cost of the background check is the student’s responsibility.
  • To work in the state of Georgia Respiratory Care Professionals must apply and be granted a license. In order to obtain a license, graduates must pass accreditation exams.
  • Please be advised that there may be additional costs for uniforms, equipment, testing, liability insurance, books and other items as needed. For a listing of these additional costs, please see an official in your program office.

Respiratory Therapy Associate of Applied Science

This program is a five semester sequence that will allow students to achieve respiratory care skill sets mandated by the Committee on Accreditation of Respiratory Care (CoARC). The curriculum is designed to prepare the graduate to function as a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

COMM 1110Fundamentals of Speech3
ENGL 1101English Composition I3
ENGL 1102English Composition II3
HIST 2111United States History to 18773
or HIST 2112 United States Hist since 1877
MATH 1111College Algebra3
or MATH 1101 Intro to Mathematical Modeling
POLS 1101American Government3
One of the following electives: 3
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
World Civilization to 1500 CE
World Civilization since 1500
United States History to 1877
United States Hist since 1877
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
BIOL 2212KAnatomy and Physiology I *4
BIOL 2215KMicrobiology4
BIOL 2213KAnatomy and Physiology II4
CHEM 1151KSurvey of Chemistry4
or CHEM 1211K Principles of Chemistry I
RESP 1100Intro to Respiratory Care3
RESP 1111Fundamentals of Resp Care4
RESP 1121Clinical Practicum I5
RESP 1131Patient Assess & Protocols4
RESP 1132Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology3
RESP 1133Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Phys3
RESP 2110Mech Ventilation/Critical Care4
RESP 2121Neonatal/Pediatric Resp Care2
RESP 2130Specialized Areas of Resp Care2
RESP 2201Clinical Practicum IA3
RESP 2210Clinical Practicum II5
RESP 2220Clinical Practicum III5
RESP 2310Cardiopulm Disease & Treatment3
RESP 2330Credential Preparation1
Total Hours84

*Respiratory Therapy majors are exempt from BIOL 1107K as a prerequisite for BIOL 2212K.


RESP 1100. Intro to Respiratory Care. 3-0-3 Units.

This course introduces students to the Respiratory Care profession and the skills needed to become a Respiratory Therapist. Topics will include the history of the Respiratory Care profession, a discussion of the future of Respiratory Care, a description of the organization of a hospital Respiratory Care department, an overview of common modalities and specialized areas of Respiratory Care including an introduction to Therapist driven protocols and clinical practice guidelines, a discussion of job opportunities and areas for advancement within the profession, an overview of legal and ethical issues impacting Health Care, and particularly Respiratory Care, in today's Health Care environment. Universal precautions and OSHA blood and body fluids precautions will be presented. The functions of the NBRC, AARC, CoARC, and the Georgia Medical Board will be examined and the credentialing and licensing processes outlined. Specific terminology and abbreviations needed by the respiratory profession will be developed. Mastery of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation will be expected of the student during this course.
Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Respiratory Program.

RESP 1111. Fundamentals of Resp Care. 3-2-4 Units.

This course introduces the principles and practices of Non Critical Respiratory Care. The course will emphasize Therapist Driven Protocols and Clinical Practice Guidelines. Basic Respiratory Care skills in modalities such as oxygen, humidity, bland aerosol, medicated aerosols, passive hyperinflation, chest physiotherapy, postural drainage, airway clearance therapies, arterial blood gases and bedside pulmonary function studies will be developed. Emphasis will be placed on setting up, using and troubleshooting equipment, and on the physical and physiologic principles of gas exchange, ventilation, acid base balance and gas laws. The application of basic physical principles involving the properties of matter, thermodynamics, and mechanics as it relates to respiratory practices and equipment will be explored in class and lab. To progress to RESP 1121, each student will be required to successfully complete and pass a Lab competency exam. Basic math competency is required. Students may be required to demonstrate proficiency in basic math skills for progression in the program.
Prerequisites: Admission into Respiratory Care Program, RESP 1100 is required as a prerequisite or a co-requisite.
Corequisites: RESP 1131.

RESP 1121. Clinical Practicum I. 0-16-5 Units.

An introduction to respiratory care of the non-critically ill Patient in the clinical environment. An emphasis will be placed on departmental protocols, clinical practice guidelines, patient identification, and communication skills The student will be required to master the following modalities: oxygen therapy, humidity therapy, bland continuous aerosol therapy, medicated nebulizer therapy, passive hyperinflation, chest physiotherapy and postural drainage, arterial blood gas draws and analysis, equipment cleaning and environmental therapy. Basic airway management, and bedside pulmonary function testing will also be explored. Equipment theory and application will be reinforced.
Prerequisites: RESP 1111, RESP 1131.
Corequisites: RESP 1132, RESP 1133.

RESP 1131. Patient Assess & Protocols. 3-2-4 Units.

This course introduces the concepts and techniques of patient assessment through inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. The student will demonstrate proficiency in patient physical examination, and taking a complete patient medical history. Principles of barrier protection for blood and body fluid exposures, and isolation precautions will be emphasized. Basic chest x-ray interpretation, basic ECG monitoring, basic laboratory values such as CBC, electrolytes, and basic microbiology are presented. Assessment of critically ill patients is introduced. Each student will be required to successfully complete a Lab competency examination in order to progress to RESP 1121.
Prerequisites: Admission into Respiratory Care program RESP 1100 is required as a prerequisite or a co-requisite.
Corequisites: RESP 1111.

RESP 1132. Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology. 3-0-3 Units.

A general pharmacology course for the respiratory care professional caring for the acute and sub-acute patient. Emphasis will be placed on the indications, contraindications, hazards, and routes of administration for the drugs discussed. The pharmacology of the major therapeutic classes of drugs important to respiratory care will be presented.
Prerequisites: RESP 1111, RESP 1131.
Corequisites: RESP 1121, RESP 1133.

RESP 1133. Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Phys. 3-0-3 Units.

A study of normal and abnormal anatomy and physiology of the cardiac, pulmonary, and renal systems. The mechanisms of homeostatic control for acid/base balance, ventilation, gas transport, and circulation will be addressed. Hemodynamic monitoring will be emphasized.
Prerequisites: RESP 1111, RESP 1131.
Corequisites: RESP 1121, RESP 1132.

RESP 2110. Mech Ventilation/Critical Care. 3-2-4 Units.

This course introduces the critical care modalities of airway management and positive pressure ventilation including tracheal suctioning, endotracheal intubation, and tracheostomy care. Concepts of mechanical ventilation are presented. Other critical care skills such as arterial lines, hemodynamic monitoring, advanced patient monitoring, bronchoscopy, and tracheostomy are presented. Basic math skills are required for this course. Each student will be required to successfully pass a lab competency exam in order to progress to RESP 2210.
Prerequisites: RESP 1121, RESP 1132, RESP 1133.
Corequisites: RESP 2310.

RESP 2121. Neonatal/Pediatric Resp Care. 2-0-2 Units.

This course presents the physiological and clinical concepts of mechanical ventilation and critical care monitoring of the pediatric and neonatal patient. The course focuses on respiratory care modalities and concepts specifically related to the pediatric and neonatal patient. Some topics include: ventilator design and function, assessment and monitoring of pediatric/neonatal patients, techniques for improving ventilation oxygenation, weaning strategies, and labor and delivery. Critical thinking skills will be emphasized to support the application of neonatal/pediatric physician and therapist driven protocols.
Prerequisites: RESP 2110, RESP 2310.
Corequisites: RESP 2210, RESP 2130, sophomore year.

RESP 2130. Specialized Areas of Resp Care. 2-0-2 Units.

This course surveys the important principles and practices of respiratory care in specialty areas. Students will apply the knowledge learned in this course in Practicum III RESP 2201. Clinical Practicum IA 0-11-3Co-requisites: RESP 2110, RESP 2310.This course is a continuation of Clinical Practicum I and a bridge to Clinical Practicum II. Students will be required to present evidence based case studies in speicalty areas.
Prerequisites: RESP 2110, RESP 2310.
Corequisites: RESP 2121, RESP 2210.

RESP 2201. Clinical Practicum IA. 9-1-3 Units.

This course is a continuation of Clinical Practicum I and a bridge to Clinical Practicum II. Emphasis will be placed on refining skills and care for the non-critical patient with a gradual development of skills and competencies to care for ventilator dependent patients. Students will apply skills they will be learning in RESP 2110. Students will be required to present clinical case studies on major cardiopulmonary pathologies in conjunction with studies in RESP 2310.
Prerequisites: RESP 1121, RESP 2110, RESP 2310.

RESP 2210. Clinical Practicum II. 0-16-5 Units.

This course is a continuation of RESP 1121 and RESP 2201. Emphasis will be placed on departmental protocols and clinical practice guidelines. Students will care for adult critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit. Mastery of active hyperinflation therapies, chest physiotherapy, arterial blood punctures and analysis, and concepts of airway management and mechanical ventilation is expected. The student will be required to attend a competency workshop and to successfully demonstrate intubations and ventilator competency. Students will be required to complete weekly logs and case studies as part of this course.
Prerequisites: Current CPR, RESP 1121, RESP 2201.
Corequisites: RESP 2121, RESP 2130.

RESP 2220. Clinical Practicum III. 0-16-5 Units.

Practicum to support content presented in RESP 2121 and RESP 2130. Practical experiences will occur in proportion to emphasis placed on the cognitive content in the companion courses. This course may also provide an opportunity for accelerated or advance students to explore additional clinical experiences outside the usual program scope. Emphasis will be placed on the neonatal/pediatric intensive care patient, pulmonary function studies and sleep studies.
Prerequisites: RESP 2121, RESP 2210, RESP 2130.
Corequisites: RESP 2321, RESP 2330.

RESP 2310. Cardiopulm Disease & Treatment. 3-0-3 Units.

A survey course of the clinical pathophysiology of selected cardiopulmonary diseases. The emphasis will be placed on the description of the etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, therapeutics, and prognosis of acute and chronic diseases of the cardiopulmonary patient. Student will be required to present clinical case studies on the major cardiopulmonary pathologies.
Prerequisites: RESP 1121, RESP 1132, RESP 1133.
Corequisites: RESP 2110.

RESP 2330. Credential Preparation. 1-0-1 Unit.

This course will focus on a review of essential concepts of Respiratory Care with emphasis on content for national credentialing. Each student must take the NBRC multiple choice and clinical simulation practice exam. Students will be required to attend a national review seminar. This course will also prepare students to obtain licensure and prepare the student with skills necessary for job placement.
Prerequisites: RESP 2121, RESP 2130, RESP 2210.
Corequisites: RESP 2220.

RESP 4010. Adv Sem Neonatal/Peds Res Care. 3-0-3 Units.

Focuses on the advanced practice of Respiratory Care in pediatrics and neonatology in the intensive care setting. Students will increase their knowledge base in assessment, evaluation, identification, utilization of critical skills, and procedures used in the neonatal/pediatric critical care setting. This course will provide the student with a general review of perinatal/pediatric respiratory care as applicable to the National Board for Respiratory Care Neonatal/Pediatric Specialty credentialing examination.
Prerequisites: RRT Credential and acceptance into the Bachelor of Science program.

RESP 4020. Adv Sem Critical Care/Mech Ven. 3-0-3 Units.

This course reviews relevant material to prepare the student for the ACCS Exam. Particular focus includes airway management, advanced modes of mechanical ventilation, pharmacology and respiratory diseases and disorders.
Prerequisites: RRT Credential and acceptance into the Bachelor of Science program.

RESP 4110. Mentoring/Educ in Healthcare. 3-0-3 Units.

Introduces topics related to clinical education, professional supervision, and mentoring in Respiratory Care. Beyond student supervision, the course will discuss supervision of professionals in the workplace and the emerging importance of professional mentoring for ongoing professional development. Students will be required to complete course to become certified in Pulmonary Disease Educator.
Prerequisites: RRT Credential and acceptance into the Bachelor of Science program.

RESP 4120. Geriatrics/LT Respiratory Care. 3-0-3 Units.

This course provides an analysis of the current professional environment and the role of the respiratory therapist in the long-term care setting. An overview of concepts, procedures, in geriatrics and long- term care will be presented. Students will discover how the respiratory therapist’s role is impacted interacting between the acute care facility, sub-acute care sites and self-administered care in the patient's home.
Prerequisites: RRT Credential and acceptance into the Bachelor of Science program.

RESP 4130. Research Healthcare Prof. 3-0-3 Units.

This course presents a review of basic statistics and its application to evidence-based theory as it pertains to the practice of clinical medicine. Modules in accessing computer based medically oriented information and medical data bases are presented. The course emphasizes the use of literature to validate and improve the practice of clinical medicine. Students identify, review, and critique published literature relevant to clinical settings. Students learn to use medical literature as a tool in clinical decision making.
Prerequisites: MATH 2200 with a grade of “C” or better; RRT Credential and acceptance into the Bachelor of Science program.

RESP 4140. Mngt in Cardioplumonary Dept. 3-0-3 Units.

This course will present topics related to the management of the Cardiopulmonary Department in a variety of clinical facilities ranging from acute to long-term care. Beyond basic principles of management, this course will explore the responsibilities of the Cardiopulmonary Department manager including appointment, direction and evaluation of personnel; policy and procedure development; budget and fiscal planning; and negotiation of purchase and contracts for new equipment.
Prerequisites: RRT Credential and acceptance into the Bachelor of Science program.