Christena Brown-Bradley, Program Coordinator/Instructor
The Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCT) Program is a specialized training program that provides a student with the knowledge and skills to become a competent respiratory care practitioner. Skills application is vital in this comprehensive program. Successful program graduates use critical thinking, problem solving and the ability to apply technology to the work environment. This field has experienced rapid expansion, and the trend is expected to continue.
The practitioner may perform the following respiratory care modalities under direct or indirect supervision of a therapist or physician: Hyperexpansion therapy to include Intermittent Positive Pressure Breathing (IPPB); Continuous Positive Pressure Breathing (CPAP); and Incentive Spirometry, Humidity/Aerosol Therapy, including the administration of aerosolized medication under physician prescription, medical gas therapy, chest physiotherapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, adult and infant mechanical ventilation, pulmonary function testing and electrocardiograms (EKGs), as well as other therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. The practitioner also receives instruction in infection control, cleaning, sterilization and general maintenance of respiratory therapy equipment.
Mississippi Law requires health care professionals or Career Technical Education students enrolled in programs whose primary purpose is to prepare professionals to render patient care services to submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting prior to beginning any clinical rotation in a licensed health care entity. If such fingerprinting or criminal background checks of the student disclose a felony conviction, guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere to a felony of possession or sale of drugs, murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, rape, sexual battery, sex offense listed in Section 45-33-23 (g), child abuse, arson, grand larceny, burglary, gratification of lust, aggravated assault or felonious abuse and/or battery of a vulnerable adult which has not been reversed on appeal or for which a pardon has not been granted, the student shall not be eligible to be admitted to such health program of study, nor will he/she be eligible to participate in clinical training in a licensed entity.
If a student currently enrolled in Respiratory Care Practitioner is prohibited from participating in clinical experiences by any clinical affiliate of Meridian Community College (e.g., positive drug screen, gregarious behavior, violation of patient safety, non-compliance with the College’s “Student Behavior Code,” etc.), then the student will be dismissed from the program of study. The student is not eligible for program readmission unless the clinical restriction is removed.
In addition to the disqualifying events listed in Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 annotated, clinical affiliates may, at their discretion, refuse to provide clinical experiences to any student whom the clinical affiliates feel are not suitable for employment or for the clinical experience setting.
Any drug conviction; bodily harm, neglect or abuse, or felony DUI conviction within a year of the starting date of class is cause for denial of the clinical experience setting. Any convictions more than a year beyond the starting date of class will be examined by the “Review Standards Committee” with a decision rendered if the student is allowed to participate in the clinical experience setting. Any charges pending a resolution will require documentation of disposition from the student.
The program is accredited at the Advanced Therapist level through the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC), 264 Precision Blvd, Telford, TN 37690, (817) 283-2835. www.coarc.com. Graduates of the program are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree and are eligible to take the entry level, as well as the advanced practitioner level exam, for Respiratory Care Practitioners (CRT - Certified Respiratory Therapist; RRT - Registered Respiratory Therapist) administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care.
Progression: To meet graduation requirements for this program, students must successfully complete the specified courses listed below with a “C” average (GPA of 2.00) or better. A grade of “C” or higher is required in each RCT course to progress in the program. A passing grade must be earned in all other coursework.
Minimum admission requirements (in addition to general admission requirements):
Attain a 17 composite score on the ACT;
Score a 240 or higher on the ACCUPLACER NG Reading Section and a 231 on the ACCUPLACER NG Algebra QAS Section and a 275 on the ACCUPLACER NG Arithmetic Section;
Complete at least 15 semester hours of program specific coursework with a “C” average or above at an accredited college or university. Courses must include A&P I w/Lab, A&P II w/Lab (required as prerequisites). Remaining credit hours can be chosen from English Composition I, Public Speaking, Computer Concepts or Applications, Behavioral Science and a Humanities or Fine Arts;
Have a cumulative grade point average (cGPA) of 2.00 (“C” average) or above on all previous college coursework;
Earn a “C” or higher in BIO 2513 - Anatomy and Physiology I, Lecture /BIO 2511 - Anatomy and Physiology I, Laboratory and BIO 2523 - Anatomy and Physiology II, Lecture /BIO 2521 - Anatomy and Physiology II, Laboratory prior to admission;
Attend an RCT Information Session. Students will receive notice from the Registrar’s Office about scheduling their Information Session.
The Respiratory Care Admissions Committee will select each year’s class from the pool of applicants who meet minimum admission requirements. Any application with incomplete records will not be considered for admission. The admission process is competitive, and completion of minimum requirements is not a guarantee of admission. Priority consideration for admission will be given as follows: 1) In-district students who complete program prerequisites and/or general education coursework at MCC; 2) Out-of-district students who complete program prerequisites and/or general education coursework at MCC; 3) Mississippi residents who complete program prerequisites and/or general education coursework elsewhere; 4) Out-of-state students. Check with the Health Education Advisor for selection details and deadlines.
After program admission, students must provide proof of immunization for MMR. A Mantoux Two-Step TB Skin Test and a drug screening test will be scheduled after enrollment.
All students admitted into the program will be required to pay for fingerprinting and background checks, which will be performed after admission and prior to clinical laboratories. These fees will be attached as registration fees. There are certain convictions that will prevent an individual from being eligible to participate in clinical experiences. If a student is unable to participate in clinical experiences, he/she will be dismissed from the program. For additional information, contact the Health Education Advisor.
Students in the Respiratory Care Practitioner Program must attend MCC full-time (12 or more semester credit hours).
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