Respiratory Care

Respiratory CareRespiratory Therapists treat patients with various health conditions, such as asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, heart failure, and lung cancer, among others. Additionally, they address respiratory challenges stemming from traumatic incidents, strokes, cardiac and pulmonary arrests, heart attacks, and premature birth complications.

Respiratory Therapists may be found in acute-care hospital settings, including the emergency room, the intensive care unit, the newborn or pediatric intensive care unit, or the diagnostics laboratory. In addition to general procedures, Respiratory Therapists also monitor and maintain complex life-support systems such as mechanical ventilators. They work with patients of all ages, from premature infants with underdeveloped lungs to senior citizens with advanced chronic pulmonary disease. Outside the hospital setting, Respiratory Therapists may work in sleep disorder clinics, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and home health agencies. Respiratory Therapists additionally assist with transporting critically ill patients via ambulance or helicopter.

Credentials and Licensure:
Completing the Respiratory Care Program at Triton College meets the educational requirements to apply for the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) Examination offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Students who achieve a high cut score on the TMC Examination become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). A passing score on the CSE is required to earn the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. The RRT credential is nationally recognized as the “standard of excellence” for respiratory care professionals.

Once credentialed by the NBRC, you must obtain a license from the regulatory agency in the state where you plan to practice respiratory therapy. If you intend to seek licensure outside of Illinois after completing your program, use the link below to find information on the state or U.S. territory where you wish to be licensed: List of State Licensure Agencies.

Specialty Credentials:
NBRC offers specialty credentials in the following areas of respiratory care: Adulty Critical Care, Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care, Pulmonary Function Technology, Sleep Disorders, and Asthma Education. NBRC credentialed practitioners become eligible to apply for specialty credential examinations three months to one year after earning the RRT credential (actual time frames vary by current credential and desired specialty credential).

Triton College Respiratory Care program, CoARC program number 200664, awarding an AAS degree at Triton College, holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). This status signifies that a program with an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards (through submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self-Study Report (PSSR) and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit), to be allowed to admit students. It is recognized as an accredited program by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which provides enrolled students who complete the program with eligibility for the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until it achieves Continuing Accreditation.

CoARC Contact information: 264 Precision Blvd, Telford, TN 37690, USA, Telephone: 817-283-2835, Fax: 817-354-8519, Email: WEBMASTER@COARC.COM.

Program Goal:
CoARC accredits respiratory care education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an “outcomes-based” process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the program's educational goals are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. Programmatic Outcomes Data - CoARC - Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care reported on the CoARC website include: The three-year time period being reported; RRT credentialing success; achievement of the high-cut score on TMC Exam; retention (attrition); overall graduate satisfaction; overall employer satisfaction; the total number of program enrollees; the total number of program graduates; maximum annual enrollment.

Program  Learning Outcomes:
After successful completion of the respiratory care program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the following aspects of communication skills and interpersonal relationships: verbal, nonverbal, listening, conflict, gender, and diversity.
  • Demonstrate the ability to acquire and evaluate clinical data and modify therapy to achieve therapeutic objectives.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assess the cardiopulmonary status of patients and implement respiratory care plans.
  • Determine the correct management and maintenance of the artificial and anatomical airway as well as the lung mechanics pertinent to the mechanically ventilated patient.
  • Demonstrate proficient clinical skills by performing prescribed adult, pediatric and neonatal respiratory care procedures.
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary to set-up, manage, and troubleshoot advanced modes of ventilation.
  • Interpret diagnostics such as arterial blood gasses, capnography, hemodynamic values, hematology and electrolytes as they apply to the assessment of the care of the critically ill patient.

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Complete the MANDATORY application for Triton College.

In addition to fulfilling the selective admission health program requirements, candidates must complete the following general admission requirements: complete a Triton College application, submit applicable transcripts, take placement exams or demonstrate course equivalency, and complete new student orientation.


Complete the MANDATORY Selective Admission Application for Health Careers.


Attendance at an information session is ENCOURAGED in order to apply for admission to this program. By attending an information session, you will learn what is expected of you as an applicant as well as the functionality of the program. Please register through our form below.


Advanced Placement Policy
The Respiratory Care program at Triton College does not offer advanced placement. Additionally, work experience is not accepted in place of required respiratory care coursework. Prior education credits from an accredited institution will only be accepted if an articulation agreement is in place with the transfer student’s previous institution.

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Department Information & Links



Main Links

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Contact Information

Dr. Peter Jaswilko, EdD, RRT, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, RPFT, AE-C
Chairperson, Allied Health Department and Respiratory Care
Office: H-249
(708) 456-0300, Ext. 3481

Respiratory Faculty
Office: H-141
708-456-0300, Ext. 3759

Christopha Cox
Health Careers Information Specialist
Office: H-134
708-456-0300, Ext. 3474

Ben Snively
Academic Advisor for Respiratory Care
Office: D-218
708-456-0300, Ext. 3016

Advising Department
Academic Advisors

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