KU offers a 4-year bachelor's degree program in respiratory care. Students enter after 2 years of prerequisites taken from KU's Lawrence campus or any regionally accredited 2- or 4-year college or university. The advanced curriculum and location at an academic medical center means students receive extensive experience in advanced respiratory therapy techniques.

For working professionals having graduated from a COARC-approved advanced practice level program, KU offers a flexible online baccalaureate degree-completion program in respiratory care. Students must already have the RRT credential and must take any missing prerequisite courses in addition to the online respiratory care courses to meet the credit-hour requirements for a 4-year degree.

Located at the region's premier academic health center, the Department of Respiratory Care Education is a part of the School of Health Professions on the Medical Center campus of the University of Kansas. KU Medical Center is located in the heart of the Kansas City metropolitan area at 39th and Rainbow Boulevard – about 40 minutes away from the main KU campus in Lawrence, Kansas.

Advising and FAQ

For information about respiratory care at KU, please visit the department’s website. Students interested in entering this field should contact an advisor as early as possible in their collegiate careers to ensure prerequisite course work will be completed on schedule. Advising and campus visits are available Monday-Friday by appointment. Please email respiratory@kumc.edu for information. For advising on the KU Lawrence campus, please see the KU Undergraduate Advising Center website or visit Strong Hall, Room 132.

Courses

RESP 300. Introduction to Respiratory Care Procedures. 4 Hours.

An introductory course designed to acquaint the student with the fundamental theory, procedures, and equipment used in respiratory therapy. Emphasis is placed on understanding application of equipment and procedures to the patient, and the respiratory therapy treatment of patients requiring non-continuous ventilatory assistance. This course introduces such topics as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, bronchopulmonary hygiene, airway care, oxygen therapy, and cleaning and sterilization of equipment. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 301. Introduction to Healthcare Research. 2 Hours.

This course is designed to provide the participant with a basic introduction to healthcare research. Students will learn how to identify a research question and conduct a proper literature search. This course will teach students the strengths and weaknesses of different search sources, how to review and critique a scientific article, and present the results of their literature review. Students will learn how to properly cite and develop a bibliography that is consistent with scientific writing, as well as, develop an introduction section of a research paper. This course will familiarize the students with cardiorespiratory medical terminology. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 305. Cardiopulmonary Physiology. 3 Hours.

Designed to introduce the student to the basics of physiology of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. This course contains such topics as regulation of respiration and pH homeostasis, ventilation and perfusion relationships, and hemodynamics of the cardiovascular system. LEC.

RESP 310. Clinical Pharmacology. 2 Hours.

The student will learn about adrenergic and parasypatholytic bronchodilators, corticosteroids, mucus-controlling drugs, surfactant agents, antitussives, and the anti-infective drugs used for the treatment of respiratory disorder. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 315. Clinical Application 1. 3 Hours.

This course introduces the beginning respiratory therapy student to the clinical environment. The student participates in clinically-oriented workshops, observation rotations, learning laboratory sessions, or simulations that focus on the application of respiratory therapy equipment, theory, patient management, and communication in the clinical setting. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. FLD.

RESP 320. Pulmonary Pathology. 3 Hours.

A course consisting of lecture and group discussion designed to introduce the student to pulmonary pathology. Special emphasis is placed on the etiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of pulmonary diseases. This course includes such topics as signs and symptoms of lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, pleural and mycotic diseases. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 325. Mechanical Ventilators. 4 Hours.

This course contains such topics as arterial puncture, classification of mechanical ventilators and adjunct devices, and their application to the patient. Four hours of lecture/discussion and a 3 hour weekly laboratory acquainting the student with the rationale for continuous mechanical ventilation and the basic operation of adult, pediatric and neonatal mechanical ventilators. Emphasis is placed on the selection of appropriate equipment and assessment of its effect on the patient. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 330. Pulmonary Function. 2 Hours.

Lecture and laboratory introducing the student to basic pulmonary function procedures. This course allows the student to practice pulmonary function tests and interpret the results. Lecture and laboratory topics include such topics as the measurement of lung volumes and capacities, body plethysmography, blood gas analysis, and flow volume loops. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 335. Clinical Application 2. 4 Hours.

This course provides the respiratory therapy student with an introduction to the critical care setting. The student will begin to apply the procedures and equipment most often utilized in the intensive care areas. Emphasis is placed on continuous mechanical ventilation, artificial airways, airway care, and bedside pulmonary function testing. The student will assume limited patient care responsibility in the critical care areas. Prerequisite: RESP 315. FLD.

RESP 340. Introduction to Pediatrics. 1 Hour.

Study of common pediatric disorders for the beginning respiratory care student. Course focuses on assessment and respiratory management of the pediatric patient, including diseases such as asthma, epiglottis, croup, and foreign body. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 345. Clinical Application 3. 3 Hours.

This course is a continuation of the clinical sequence that provides the respiratory therapy student with experience in the critical care setting. The student applies the procedures and equipment utilized by respiratory care practitioners in the intensive care areas. Emphasis is placed on continuous mechanical ventilation, artificial airways, airway care, and bedside diagnosis. The student assumes progressively more patient care responsibility in the critical care areas under preceptor supervision. Prerequisite: Completion of RESP 335. FLD.

RESP 350. Clinical Application (special). 1 Hour.

This course provides the intermediate respiratory therapy student with opportunities to practice basic respiratory therapy procedures. Emphasis placed on performance of respiratory therapy procedures and application of equipment. This course emphasizes such topics as oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy, incentive spirometry, patient assessment, and IPPB therapy. The student will assume limited patient care responsibilities. Prerequisite: RESP 303, RESP 310, RESP 318, RESP 325, and RESP 330 or their equivalent. FLD.

RESP 375. Clinical Special. 0 Hours.

This course provides the advanced respiratory therapy student with opportunities to refine procedural and evaluative skills in the critical care areas. The student will spend a minimum of twenty-four hours per week in the clinical setting. Emphasis is placed upon the students ability to evaluate the patients' clinical situation and recommend appropriate therapy modalities to the clinical supervisor. During this course the student will assume wider-ranging patient care responsibilities. FLD.

RESP 399. Generalist Practice. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to allow students the opportunity to improve and perfect skills acquired in the junior year clinical courses. Emphasis will be given to refining the students' abilities to assess patient status and administer appropriate therapy modalities. This course may also be used to assess respiratory therapy knowledge and skills of students transferring from other programs. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. FLD.

RESP 400. Chronic Respiratory Disease Management: The Evolving Role of the Respiratory Therapist. 3 Hours.

This course is an introduction to the evolving role of respiratory therapists in health care, especially in the area of chronic disease management. The students will explore various trends that are contributing to the role respiratory therapy may play in patient care. Topics covered in this course include COPD and asthma management, pulmonary rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, home care, elderly care, nutritional care of the pulmonary patient, and communication skills necessary for patient education. Students in this course will gain an understanding of how they can contribute to an inter-professional team in order to provide safe and effective patient care. Presentation of topics in this course may include lecture, group work/discussion, audiovisual, computer and other multimedia aids. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 402. Chronic Respiratory Disease Management: The Evolving Role of the Repiratory Therapist. 3 Hours.

This course is an introduction to the evolving role of respiratory therapists in health care, especially in the area of chronic disease management. The students will explore various trends that are contributing to the role respiratory therapy may play in patient care. Topics covered in this course include COPD and asthma management, pulmonary rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, home care, elderly care, nutritional care of the pulmonary patient, and communication skills necessary for patient education. Students in this course will gain an understanding of how they can contribute to an inter-professional team in order to provide safe and effective patient care. Presentation of topics in this course may include lecture, group work/discussion, audiovisual, computer and other multimedia aids. LEC.

RESP 405. Advanced Critical Care. 4 Hours.

Concepts of the diseases and disorders that effect the critically ill adult are explored. Emphasis is placed on understanding common illnesses such as cardiac dysrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome, trauma of the chest and head, organ failure and toxin exposure as well as the other medical challenges of the critically ill patient. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 410. Neonatal Respiratory Care. 4 Hours.

This course is designed to provide the student with an introductory knowledge of fetal and newborn cardiorespiratory anatomy, physiology, development, pathophysiology, and care. Prerequisite: Senior year standing or permission of instructor. LEC.

RESP 415. Clinical Application 4. 4 Hours.

This course provides the advanced respiratory therapy student with opportunities to refine procedural and evaluative skills in the critical care areas. In the clinical setting emphasis is placed upon the student's ability to evaluate the patient's clinical situation and recommend appropriate therapy modalities to the clinical instructor. During this course the student will assume a progressively wider range of patient care responsibilities. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. FLD.

RESP 420. Health Care Management, Ethics and Law. 2 Hours.

This course provides an overview of fundamental concepts in healthcare management, law, and ethics. Students will learn the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in management leadership, management design, and managing diversity. Ethical concerns relevant to the healthcare manager will be addressed. Current and historical controversies in healthcare will be discussed. Upon completion of this course, students will have the knowledge to understand laws, ethics, and management principles of the complex healthcare landscape. LEC.

RESP 450. Chronic Respiratory Disease Management: The Evolving Role of the Respiratory Therapist. 3 Hours.

This course is open only to online students. This course is an introduction to the evolving role of respiratory therapists in health care, especially in the area of chronic disease management. The students will explore various trends that are contributing to the role respiratory therapy may play in patient care. Topics covered in this course include COPD and asthma management, pulmonary rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, home care, elderly care, nutritional care of the pulmonary patient, and communication skills necessary for patient education. Students in this course will gain an understanding of how they can contribute to an inter-professional team in order to provide safe and effective patient care. Presentation of topics in this course may include lecture, group work/discussion, audiovisual, computer and other multimedia aids. LEC.

RESP 455. Physical Science. 3 Hours.

This course is open only to online students. Introduces the physical science principles that govern the movement and behavior of gases, particles, and equipment utilized in the practice of the respiratory care. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 460. Advanced Critical Care. 3 Hours.

This course is open only to online students. Concepts of the diseases and disorders that effect the critically ill adult are explored. Emphasis is placed on understanding common illnesses such as cardiac dysrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome, trauma of the chest and head, organ failure and toxin exposure as well as the other medical challenges of the critically ill patient. LEC.

RESP 465. Neonatal Respiratory Care. 3 Hours.

This course is open only to online students. This course is designed to provide the student with knowledge of fetal and newborn cardiorespiratory anatomy, physiology, development, pathophysiology, and care. LEC.

RESP 470. Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics. 3 Hours.

This course is open only to online students. This course covers the theory, indications, equipment, interpretation, and application of the various diagnostic procedures used in the clinical management of the cardiopulmonary patient. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. LEC.

RESP 490. Special Studies or Projects. 1-9 Hours.

This course involves individual study, research or projects in the field of respiratory care under instructor guidance. Written reports and periodic conferences are required. Content and unit credit will be determined by student-instructor conferences and/or departmental conferences. This course may be repeated for a maximum of nine credits. Prerequisite: Admission to the respiratory care program and consent of instructor. LEC.

RESP 495. Management, Ethics, and Law in Respiratory Care. 3 Hours.

This course is only open to online students. This course provides an overview of fundamental concepts in healthcare management, law, and ethics. Students will learn the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in management leadership, management design, and managing diversity. Ethical concerns relevant to the healthcare manager will be addressed. Current and historical controversies in healthcare will be discussed. Upon completion of this course, students will have the knowledge to understand laws, ethics, and management principles of the complex healthcare landscape. LEC.

RESP 601. Scientific Investigation Part I. 1 Hour.

This course is designed to provide the participant with an introduction to research skills culminating in a group Proposal of a bench study or chart review. The Proposal will consist of three sections: Introduction, Review of the Literature and Methods. The three sections will be developed through a series of progress reports with the aid of a faculty advisor. Students will work in groups to develop a research question about their daily practice that can only be answered by conducting research. This course will include discussions of the types of research data and the structure of a research manuscript. Students will have opportunities to read, interpret and analyze research reports and practice in writing critical evaluations of the literature as it applies to their research question. Prerequisite: Statistics LEC.

RESP 605. Scientific Investigation Part II. 1 Hour.

This course is designed to teach the student how to read, interpret and analyze research reports. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 610. Scientific Investigation Part III. 1 Hour.

Each study group will write the Discussion and Conclusion sections of their paper and share their findings in a poster presentation. The final version of each group's study manuscript must be submitted to course instructor prior to graduation. The quality of the manuscript will be appropriate for submission to the journal of Respiratory Care. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 615. Registry Review. 2 Hours.

This course involves individual student under instructor guidance. A series of practice exams are taken and discussed including a secured practice registry exam and clinical simulation exam. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 620. Respiratory Capstone. 2 Hours.

Provides the student with a capstone course integrating activities and responsibilities related to clinical processes in one of the specific advanced practice specialties: critical care, neonatal, pediatrics, pulmonary rehabilitation, pulmonary function, sleep, hyperbaric oxygen, management or education. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.

RESP 625. Clinical Specialty Practicum. 5 Hours.

Integrated with RESP 620 Respiratory Capstone, this course provides the student with the opportunity to integrate clinical activities and responsibilities related to one of the specific advanced practice specialties: critical care, neonatal, pediatrics, pulmonary rehabilitation, pulmonary function, sleep, hyperbaric oxygen, management, or education. Prerequisites: Co-requisite RESP 620. FLD.

RESP 650. Research in Health Care. 3 Hours.

This course is open only to online students. This course combines the on-campus series of courses: RESP 600, 605, and 610, for the individual student. The first half of the semester will produce a study proposal for a chart review that will require a faculty-assisted search of our database of de-identified patient information. The second half of semester will be analyzing results of search and with the aid of a faculty advisor, writing a quality manuscript suitable for submission to Respiratory Care that will be submitted to course instructor, at the very least. Prerequisite: Statistics. LEC.

RESP 655. Leadership Management. 3 Hours.

This course is open only to online students. An introduction to basic principles of management and their application in the current health care environment. Course content includes management theory, scope of management, quality issues, budgeting, personnel issues, evaluation and application of management concepts. Prerequisite: Senior year standing or permission of the instructor. LEC.

RESP 665. Clinical Specialty Project. 6 Hours.

This course is open to online students only. Designed to give the student the opportunity to develop a clinically-related project in the areas of quality improvement, health care organizational structures and current processes in patient management. This course is intended to serve as a capstone experience for the online student integrating communication skills and clinical knowledge. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Respiratory Care Program. LEC.