San Juan College School of Health Sciences
Respiratory Therapy Program
The Profession of Respiratory Care

Respiratory therapy is an allied health profession that deals with patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists are health professionals that evaluate, treat, and manage patients with respiratory problems and other cardiopulmonary disorders under medical supervision. Respiratory therapists perform patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, emergency and critical care, patient education, pulmonary rehabilitation and home care. For more information about a career in Respiratory Therapy, visit the American Association for Respiratory Care website.

Why should I become a respiratory therapist?
(From the AARC website)
The demand for health care professionals has never been higher, so job stability is excellent. Continued growth in biomedical technology ensures the field will never get boring. And the opportunity to really help people and make a lasting and meaningful difference in the lives of others means you’ll get much more out of your career than just a paycheck.

But with all the health care professions out there, how can you know which one is right for you? It’s not an easy decision, but if you agree with the following statements, you might discover respiratory therapy is exactly what you’ve been looking for:

•I really enjoy helping people out in their time of need.
•I like working with technology and I’m good in math and science.
•I’m looking for a career with multiple opportunities for advancement—not just one.
•I would rather work in a profession where there’s a lot of variety in the job.
•I want to be able to choose what type of place I work in, and the type of patients I work with.

If this sounds like you, a career in respiratory therapy could be a great fit.
For more information, please watch the “Life and Breath” video at

How much do RT’s make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Average annual earnings of RTs in the US is $62,223.
Average annual salary in NM is $50,610.

Respiratory Therapy – A New Career Opportunity at San Juan College
San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, has received an approval of intent to establish the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program in Respiratory Therapy from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

The College is currently seeking a Letter of Review (LOR) status from CoARC ( to start the program in the spring semester of 2010. For more information, please contact:

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
1248 Harwood Road Bedford, Texas 76021-4244
(817) 283-2835

The Respiratory Therapy Program will be housed at the Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC), a state-of-the-art simulated “hospital” in the new 13,900 sq. ft. building and the upcoming 14,900 sq. ft. phase 2 building at the Main Campus. The Simulation Center is equipped with ER, ICU, OR, 2 Skills Lab., Medical Laboratory and classrooms with advanced audio-visual technology. The Medical Laboratory offers training in clinical laboratory science such as hematology, chemistry, immunology, microbiology, immunohematology, clinical microscopy and blood gas studies. Surgical Technology, Medical Laboratory and Emergency Medical Services programs are also conducting classes in this building.

The Phase 2 building will also house the Physical Therapy programs, general science classes and a computer lab. The simulation laboratories are equipped with high fidelity human patient simulators or manikins from adults to newborn. The Respiratory Therapy Program will have an additional 2-bed simulation laboratory for newborn and skills development.