Program Philosophy & Goals

St. Alexius Medical Center
University of Mary

Respiratory Therapy Program

Introduction to the Program
Program Philosophy & Goals
Pre-professional Curriculum
Professional Curriculum
Pre-medical Curriculum Option
Master of Science Option
Admission to Professional Program
More Information/application
Educational Philosophy  

Baccalaureate degree education in respiratory therapy provides students with the liberal arts and science foundation they need to be competent, fully participating professionals in the world of healthcare. Professional competence means one has a high degree of clinical skill combined with skills in communicating, critical thinking, personal ethics, appreciating social and cultural diversity, and in life-long learning.

The philosophy of education in the professional program is based on the idea that students should not only learn to apply existing knowledge, but learn how to develop and use new knowledge to solve new problems. Only when education teaches one how to learn will persons continue to learn throughout their lives. The teacher's role is to facilitate learning by providing relevant experiences, and by coaching, mentoring, challenging, and encouraging students. The professionally competent person not only has excellent technical skills, but also excellent clinical assessment and decision-making skills. The ability to perform clinical tasks skillfully is important, but is not sufficient of itself to function as a respiratory therapist. The professionally competent respiratory therapist has the ability to analyze information, think critically, and make sound clinical decisions. Most of all, respiratory therapists are concerned about their patients' welfare, and about continually learning how to give more effective care.

Mission
To prepare students to become competent registered respiratory therapists who think critically, engage in evidence-based practice, function as expert resources to physicians and other healthcare professionals, assume leadership roles and interact respectfully and compassionately with others, regardless of cultural background, values, and lifestyles.

Program Goals and Standards
Goal 1:  To prepare students to function as competent respiratory therapists eligible to take the national board examinations for registered respiratory therapists (RRT). Upon completion of the respiratory therapy program, students will:

  • comprehend, apply and evaluate information relevant to the role of the registered respiratory therapist
  • be technically proficient in all skills relevant to the function of the registered respiratory therapist
  • demonstrate behaviors consistent with employer expectations and the respiratory therapy professional code of ethics.

Goal 2:  To respond to the need for registered respiratory care practitioners locally, regionally, and nationally.

  • The Respiratory Therapy Program will annually graduate its maximum capacity of registry eligible students.

Program Outcomes:
Upon graduation from the respiratory therapy program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the physiological bases for all therapeutic interventions and diagnostic procedures in all areas of respiratory therapy practice
  • Demonstrate proficiency in implementing all respiratory therapy treatment and diagnostic procedures
  • Demonstrate proficiency in interpreting physical exam findings, cardiopulmonary monitoring data, laboratory data, and diagnostic imaging information
  • Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills as consultants to physicians and other healthcare personnel in developing cardiopulmonary care strategies
  • Demonstrate proficiency in establishing an evidence base for best practice through research and the critique and interpretation of the professional scientific literature
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical obligations and responsibilities of healthcare professionals and institutions
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the legal, social and economic environments in which the healthcare institutions function
  • Demonstrate effective cross-cultural and interdisciplinary human interaction skills in the healthcare setting and the broader community
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current issues and trends in healthcare, including public policy, access and reimbursement issues
  • Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication
  • Educate patients and the general public in matters of cardiopulmonary health and chronic disease management
  • Demonstrate leadership abilities as a member of the healthcare team.

University of Mary