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Respiratory Care (AS)

Breathe life into your career

Breathing is a privilege many of us may take for granted. However, those with cardiopulmonary diseases know just how hard breathing can be. At DSU, you can become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and help patients manage their breathing obstacles. To better fit your schedule, you can complete your program in either Sioux Falls or Rapid City, South Dakota. 

Students in the DSU Respiratory Care program are exposed to advanced technology and the latest respiratory equipment, to include:

  • Ventilators
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood analyzing machines
  • Medical charting systems

Students will develop skills and master concepts in:

  • Patient assessment
  • Neo-natal care
  • Hemodynamic analysis
  • Ventilator Management
  • Emergency and trauma
  • Pulmonary diagnostic testing
  • Disease management
  • Respiratory pharmacology

Professional Opportunities

You also have access to seminars and conferences, like the South Dakota Society for Respiratory Care (SDSRC). Build your resume and network with potential employers by sitting on the SDSRC board of directors as a student representative. In addition, the SDSRC offers scholarships and opportunities to attend the National American Association for Respiratory Care conferences.  

DSU partners with Avera, Sanford, and Monument Health. Students complete clinical rotations working with real patients at the bedside as a part of their degree completion. In addition, the above facilities offer paid internship opportunities for students enrolled in the DSU Respiratory Care Program.

Pursue your dreams

Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). CoARC is the organization that accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an 'outcome-based' process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

The DSU Respiratory Care Program offers associate and baccalaureate respiratory care degrees, to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains of respiratory care practice, as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRT's). Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to take the entry-level examination of the National Board for Respiratory Care to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist. 

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the AS or BS degree in Respiratory Care, students will:

  • Be aware of acceptable attrition and retention rates
  • Have confidence in acceptable positive job placement
  • Achieve an acceptable score on the Comprehensive Written RRT Self-Assessment Exam (CWRRT SAE) prior to graduation from the AS program
  • Achieve the NBRC Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential prior to graduation from the BS program
  • Achieve acceptable credentialing success on the NBRC Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Exam
  • Achieve acceptable credentialing success on the NBRC Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Exam
  • Demonstrate overall satisfaction on the graduate surveys
  • Achieve a satisfactory rate of participation on the graduate surveys


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