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What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Earn a bachelor's degree of respiratory care from the University of Kansas, online or on-campus.

student in respiratory care lab with mannequinAs a Respiratory Care practitioner, you'll help patients promote optimum cardiopulmonary function and health, including the prevention, identification and treatment of acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system.

Respiratory care providers also address breathing and other cardiopulmonary disorders for patients of all ages. Issues you could be treating include asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders and trauma.

In the hospital setting, your role could provide care and life support to patients in the emergency room, intensive care units, general hospital areas, the pulmonary diagnostics laboratory, disease and sleep disorder settings and rehabilitation.

Respiratory Therapy Specializations

respiratory care students in baby lab

  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • neonatology
  • adult critical care
  • management
  • education
  • sleep disorders
  • cardiopulmonary diagnostics
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy

The future for respiratory therapists is bright with employmentexpected to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Respiratory therapist employment projected to grow 23% 2020 to 2030
  • Continuing growth in respiratory technology
  • Median salary of $29 per hour

Aerial view of the Kansas City campus

Explore KU's Respiratory Care Programs

Learn about our online and on-campus degree options and get in touch with an advisor today.
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KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Respiratory Care and Diagnostic Science
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 1013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-4630 • 711 TTY