Health Professions Program

Respiratory Therapy Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree

Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat patients with cardiopulmonary disorders, and are actively involved in health promotion and disease prevention. The respiratory therapy program at IUPUI is part of a consortium that includes Indiana University, Ball State University, the University of Indianapolis, and IU Health. Classroom and laboratory courses are held at Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis, IN). Students remain enrolled at IUPUI for all their respiratory therapy courses and receive their degree from the IU School of Medicine.  Clinical Courses are located at medical facilities throughout central Indiana with IU Health being a primary clinical affiliate.

Janice C. Johnson, MS

Janice C. Johnson, MS

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine
Tammy A. Hunt-Dimirsky, MS

Tammy A. Hunt-Dimirsky, MS

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine

Description of Profession

Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, rehabilitate, and educate patients to prevent and manage cardiopulmonary diseases. Procedures performed by therapists include aerosolized medication therapy, bronchopulmonary clearance techniques, and administration of medical gases. Respiratory therapists also provide ventilator support, pulmonary rehabilitation and advanced life support. They are skilled in airway maintenance, procurement and analysis of arterial blood gas samples, and in the performance of pulmonary function tests and sleep diagnostic studies. Respiratory therapists work primarily in hospitals caring for patients in nurseries, medical and surgical units, adult and pediatric intensive care units, and emergency rooms. As valued members of the multi-disciplinary medical team, they work directly with physicians, nurses and other medical professionals to provide care to patients. Critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential for respiratory therapists. Additional employment opportunities are available in nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals, in organizations providing home care, physicians’ offices and clinics, pulmonary function laboratories, sleep clinics, and in commercial organizations that manufacture and distribute medical supplies.

Program Details

“To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists.”

“To prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content related to the acquisition of skills in management, education and research.”

The program is fully accredited under its official title “Indiana Respiratory Therapy Education Consortium” by the Commission on the Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX, 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835. Outcome data for the program can be found at https://www.coarc.com/students/programmatic-outcome-data.aspx.

Graduates of the Respiratory Therapy program receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy from Indiana University School of Medicine. Graduates meet the requirements to take examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). These examinations are used to obtain a license to practice as a respiratory therapist in 49 states that require licensing. Completion of the examinations will allow the therapist to use the CRT (Certified Respiratory Therapist) and RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) credentials. Additionally, there are several specialty examinations the RRT may take to advance professional opportunities.

Licensing is required in most states to work as a respiratory therapist. Many states, including Indiana, use the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential offered by the NBRC as part of the licensing process, however some now require the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

Graduates of CoARC accredited, associate degree programs in respiratory therapy at a regionally accredited college or university are eligible to apply for advanced standing in the respiratory therapy baccalaureate degree program. Advanced standing applicants must meet all program admissions requirements and standards. In addition, the IUPUI campus has a limit on the number of credits that can be transferred from a two-year institution. For more information on this policy, please contact the IU School of Medicine Health Professions Programs Administrative Office at (317) 278-4752 or askhpp@iupui.edu or irtec@iuhealth.org. Once admitted, advanced standing candidates would be enrolled in the fourth year of the program’s professional program curriculum. In most cases, no additional clinical hours are required. Students who wish to apply for advanced standing must contact the program director for available options.