Respiratory therapists help patients overcome respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, emphysema or, most recently, COVID-19.
“Seeking a career in the medical field no longer means being a doctor or nurse. Respiratory care professionals are an integral part of the medical team,” said Fiona Campbell, director of respiratory care at Lone Star College (LSC)-Kingwood. “We are instrumental in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with cardiopulmonary problems.”
The respiratory care program at LSC-Kingwood trains students in airway management, respiratory diseases and ventilator management. It is a two-year program that leads to an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in respiratory care. With an AAS degree, most graduates seek entry-level work in a hospital. Other career opportunities include home care, diagnostic clinics, sleep technology, vendor sales and education.
“Students will also undergo intensive studies in the resuscitation realm of treatment,” Campbell said. “Our purpose is to train and provide competent, high-quality respiratory therapists for our community and the greater Houston area.”
The respiratory care program is very competitive and only accepts a maximum of 24 students each spring and summer semester. During the application process, applicants must take the Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT). For those interested in a spring 2021 admission, the deadline is Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m.
“The program is very intense as patients’ lives are in the hands of respiratory care practitioners,” she said. “Although the program is rigorous, we have a 97% pass rate on national entry-level exams.”