Respiratory therapists are health care specialists who evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders; and work under the direction of a physician and assist in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with pulmonary disorders. Casper College’s Associate of Science program in Respiratory Therapy spans 24 months of continuous education, including two summer sessions. Clinical instruction is conducted primarily at the Wyoming Medical Center, with rotations to home health agencies in town. A summer neonatal clinical rotation will occur during the students’ second year and will involve traveling out of state to a Level III nursery.
Graduates of this program will be eligible to sit for the Certification and Registry national exams, earning the credentials of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).
Background check and drug/alcohol policy
Students enrolled in any of the health science programs will participate in clinical experiences in a variety of agencies. Prior to participating in the clinical experiences, students will be subject to that agency’s requirements for a background check, drug testing and/or drug abuse prevention policies. Students are then subject to the random drug testing policy of that agency.
Following graduation, several of the state and/or national licensing or certification (registry) boards, including the Wyoming State Licensing Board in Respiratory Care, may refuse to allow a graduate to sit for the required exam or issue a license or certification to a person who has a prior felony conviction or proven history of drug or alcohol abuse. Applicants to whom this applies should consult the program director for further information.
Clinical accessibility policy
The respiratory therapy program uses a variety of health care agencies in the community for clinical experience for the students. If you have been employed in one or more of the agencies and are not eligible for rehire as an employee, the agency may not permit you to participate in the essential clinical component of the program.
Please contact the human resources department of the affected agency and request documentation that states the agency position on your participation in the clinical component of the program. If you receive a negative response from the agency, you are automatically ineligible to apply. A response indicating you will be permitted to attend clinicals in the agency will be given to the program director prior to the selection process for admission to the program. If you are unable to fulfill clinical requirements due to a previous employer issue and have not complied with the above, you could be dismissed from the program.
Core Performance Standards for Admission and Progression
Critical thinking: Critical thinking ability to exercise non-clinical and clinical judgment in a timely manner.
Interpersonal: Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact professionally and therapeutically with peers, faculty, staff, administrators, patients/clients, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
Communication: Communication skills sufficient for interaction with peers, faculty, staff, administrators, patients/clients, families, and groups in verbal, nonverbal and written form.
Mobility: Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, safely perform treatments/procedures, and assist patients/clients; lift and transfer patients/clients; manipulate equipment; walk and/or stand for extended periods of time.
Motor skills: Gross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe and effective patient/client care.
Hearing: Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and safely assess health needs.
Visual: Visual ability with or without corrective lenses sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in safe patient/client care.
Tactile: Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment of patient/ client care.
Professionalism: The ability to understand and demonstrate sufficient respect for others in non-verbal, verbal, and written communications in the classroom, laboratory, clinical settings, in the Casper College community, and in related public settings. The ability to demonstrate sufficient understanding of the cumulative effect that behavior, appearance, and communication has on the health science professional image.
Program admission requirements
New students are selected once a year, mid-spring semester (non-smokers preferred). Students failing to complete all the requirements by this time will have to wait for program selection the following year. Professional education starts at the beginning of the summer semester. A maximum of 12 students are admitted each year.
- Contact program faculty member for program application;
- Be admitted as a classified student to Casper College before the deadline;
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Have completed the following college courses with a minimum GPA of 2.3:
- Participate in an observation period and a personal interview (spring semester);
- Present evidence of a recent health examination completed by the applicant’s physician after interview.
- Have evidence of American Heart Association BLS for the Provider Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification beginning the first semester of classes, and maintain current certification throughout the respiratory therapy program. This requirement may be met by successfully completing HLTK 1625 .