Respiratory Therapists provide care ranging from emergent to long-term maintenance. They may assist with external cardiac massage, CPR, placing artificial airways or arterial lines, or obtaining arterial blood gases or EKGs. They will provide care to their patients with the use of mechanical ventilators, aerosol gases, aerosol nebulizer treatments, or other respiratory specific equipment. Following treatment, the respiratory therapist will monitor the patient’s physiologic response to the treatment by obtaining vital signs or monitoring test results.
The Associate in Science (AS) degree in Respiratory Care will prepare students to work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures and related duties.
More information on this profession can be obtained by visiting the The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
A student must have a high school diploma or GED to apply to Lake-Sumter State College. Students should apply to the AA Respiratory Care Transfer plan upon initial application to LSSC.
The AS Respiratory Care is a limited access program. Once enrolled, students will apply separately to the program.
Students must meet the following criteria prior to applying to the Respiratory Care program:
- Be a degree-seeking student with all required admissions documents received by the College
- Completed any required Developmental Education courses
- Have an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher. Complete all prerequisites with a C or better
Students accepted to the Respiratory Care program must also meet the following requirements:
- Complete required immunizations and communicable disease screens. See Notification for Allied Health Students section for more information
- Complete a physical examination and essential functions examination by a licensed provider (MD/DO/PA-C/ARNP)
- Submit a signed affidavit attesting that the applicant has not committed specific criminal acts
- Complete a drug test screening by a department-approved vendor
- Complete a national background check by a department-approved vendor
- Must be 17 years of age or older by the program start date
- Official transcripts from all prior institutions are submitted to LSSC
- An applicant with a specific conviction or a positive drug screening may not be accepted into the Respiratory Care Program. See the Department of Allied Health for further information. A positive drug screening or conviction occurring after full admission and matriculation into the program is addressed according to departmental policy and may provide cause for dismissal from the program.
College Application Process
Total tuition costs for the Respiratory Care program are currently under $5,000 for the program. This does not include course/lab fees and textbooks. For more information, visit our current Tuition & Fee information page.
Scholarships are available to all eligible students each semester from the LSSC Foundation. Visit the Foundation Scholarships page to learn more.
Students graduating from high school and enrolling at LSSC may qualify for other scholarships offered through the State of Florida. You will be notified of your eligibility after you apply to the College.
There are many options to finance your education. You may be eligible for Federal Grants, Work Study, State Grants, Federal Loans, and Institutional Scholarships. For more information and how to apply, please visit the Financial Aid page.
Respiratory Care Program
Please visit the Course Catalog for a listing of all courses.
Course Types Offered
General education pre-requisite courses will be offered online, hybrid, and/or on-campus. Technical education courses in Respiratory Care will be offered on-campus at the South Lake Campus.
Learn more about course types offered at LSSC.
To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).
Lake-Sumter State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Learn more on our Accreditation page.
CoARC accredits respiratory therapy 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 educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.
The annual report of current program results can be viewed at Outcomes data.
Lake-Sumter State College is currently in the process of seeking CoARC accreditation for a respiratory care program. However, Lake-Sumter State College can provide no assurance that accreditation will be granted by the CoARC.
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
264 Precision Blvd Telford, TN 37690 USA
Lake-Sumter State College does not currently require COVID-19 vaccinations. However, the State of Florida and national accreditation agencies require instruction and skills validation in clinical healthcare settings. The individual clinical facilities set the vaccination rules for their institutions. These clinical facilities set the compliance rules (i.e., immunizations, drug screenings, background checks, etc.) that students must meet to be eligible for instruction at these sites. If a student decides not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or meet other eligibility requirements defined by the clinical facility, they may not be allowed to participate those sites and may not be able to complete the requirements of the program and obtain the diploma/certification. If you have any questions about these requirements, please speak to the program manager or academic advisor.
In order to participate in the clinical portion of the program, students will be required to meet additional criteria. Healthcare professionals must keep ALL immunizations current. OSHA requires immunization against Hepatitis B for all individuals in a workplace environment where the potential exposure to blood exists. Students admitted to the program must have an immunization record on file and a current TB test before they can enter practicum.
- ANNUAL FLU SHOT: Have documentation of annual flu shot administered during the current flu season. If a student chooses not to have the flu shot, a signed declination/waiver form is required.
- HEPATITIS B: Begin the Hepatitis B series. The vaccine for Hepatitis B is highly recommended. There must be documentation of 3 vaccinations or positive antibody titer (lab report required). If a student chooses not to have the vaccine, a signed declination/waiver form is required.
- TB TEST: Complete a 1 Step TB Skin Test or Chest X-ray. There must be documentation of one of the following: a) negative 1 step test in the past 6 weeks; OR b) negative Quantiferon Gold Blood Test (lab report required) in the past 6 weeks. If either test is positive, a clear chest x-ray (with lab report) is required.
- TETANUS: Provide proof of a Tetanus booster within the past 10 years.
- VARICELLA (CHICKEN POX): Provide documentation of one of the following: a) 2 vaccinations; OR b) positive antibody titer (lab reports required).
- MEASLES, MUMPS, & RUBELLA (MMR): Provide documentation of one of the following: a) 2 vaccinations; OR b) positive antibody titers for all 3 components.
- CORONAVIRUS DISEASE SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19): Have documentation of the COVID-19 vaccine. If a student chooses not to have the vaccine, a signed declination/waiver form is required.
The State of Florida requires students entering a Florida College System (FCS) or State University System (SUS) institution to demonstrate competency in civic literacy by the time they graduate, pursuant to s. 1007.25(5), Florida Statutes. Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, newly enrolled students must demonstrate competency through completion of a civic literacy course and by achieving a passing score on the Florida Civic Literacy Examination (FCLE).