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Online Coursework in Respiratory Therapy: Course Descriptions

Respiratory therapy coursework is available online through several colleges and universities as part of undergraduate degree programs in the field. Read an overview of some common online respiratory therapy courses.

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Essential Information

Respiratory therapists are responsible for developing respiratory care plans, administering appropriate procedures, supervising equipment operation and maintaining patient records. Online respiratory therapy courses typically exist as part of associate's or bachelor's degree programs. These programs usually include online lectures, assignments and communication. However, the clinical requirements of each degree program must be completed in-person, either on campus or at an approved hospital or community health organization.

Online Class Overviews

Non-clinical, core healthcare coursework represents a large portion of the class requirements for respiratory therapy programs. The supervised, practical training portion of the program must be completed in a live clinical setting. Common courses found in distance-learning respiratory therapy programs may include:

Pharmacology

Because respiration can be effected by drugs, this course is intended to increase a professional's knowledge of pharmacology. Subjects covered typically include pharmacodynamics, which covers the effects of various types of drugs on the body. Students also study how drugs are absorbed, distributed and eliminated by the body.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pertaining to patients who display symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, this online course concentrates on four aspects of identification and treatment. These are patient assessment, exercise training, education and psychosocial support.

Pediatric Care

This course covers correct ventilator settings and the adjustment of blood gasses in children. Typical subjects include oxygen therapy, breathing treatments and ventilation management techniques.

Advances in Respiratory Healthcare

An examination, analysis and evaluation of current approaches to respiratory therapy and techniques are the focal points of this course.

Polysomnography

This is the study of sleep disorders, many of which have a causal effect with respiration. Students examine the history of sleep medicine, the nature of normal and abnormal sleep physiology, arrhythmia and treatment application.

Online respiratory therapy courses typically exist as part of associate's or bachelor's degree programs. The programs usually include online lectures, assignments and communication. However, the clinical requirements of each degree program must be completed in-person, either on campus or at an approved hospital or community health organization.

Certification Information

Individuals who meet the online requirements for an associate's degree in respiratory therapy and complete the clinical portion of training are qualified to sit for Certified Respiratory Specialist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credentialing examinations. These exams are administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). Applicants who wish to complete the requirements for an online Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care or Bachelor of Health Science in Respiratory Therapy program must hold an appropriate associate's degree and have NBRC credentials, either as a CRT or RRT.

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