Oregon Respiratory Therapy Schools

Respiratory Therapist Jobs Overview

A respiratory therapist, also called a respiratory care practitioner, is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, and therapy of patients with breathing disorders, from small children or even infants, to the elderly. Though they work under the direction of another physician, respiratory therapists must be capable of working independently and making critical decisions. Anyone entering this field should obtain, at minimum, an associates degree, a license from the relevant licensing board, and bachelor’s or master’s degrees to advance in the field.


Prospective respiratory therapists should be aware that the medical field requires a great deal of training no matter what field you choose. Although it is possible to start a career with no more than an associates degree and a license (required by every state except Alaska and Hawaii), students should expect to continue their education with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Courses are widely available at post-secondary institutions as well as through the military, medical schools, or specific vocational schools. Classes offered may include:

Human Anatomy and Physiology

High school students are advised to plan for their future career by taking courses in biology, mathematics, health, chemistry, and physics. They will need a solid understanding of mathematics, critical thinking skills, and an understanding of physics and chemistry.

Responsibilities of a Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory care practitioners generally work under the direction of a physician. They are responsible for diagnoses and therapeutic treatments but work together with a physician to form a care plan. A therapist may interview patients to assess their condition, then conduct a physical examination and further diagnostic testing. This job requires independent thinkers – respiratory therapists often handle emergencies such as victims of heart attack, stroke, infants without fully developed lungs, or patients on life support. Therapists are expected to assess breathing capacity, adjust ventilators, perform chest physiotherapy in patients whose lungs are filed with mucus, and may be involved in home care.

Because respiratory care practitioners often handle gases stored under pressure, they must take proper safety precautions and make sure that equipment is working properly.

Respiratory Therapist Schools in Oregon (OR)

Charter College

Charter College is a private, independent institution of higher education that follows a new direction. Charter College is neither a liberal arts college, a university, nor a vocational school. Instead, Charter College borrows certain elements from each of those respected educational institutions to create a unique and innovative experience for our students.

We offer career training programs in the growing fields of health care, business, law, criminal justice, information technology, and select trade careers. We strive to provide our students with a career-focused education that is both relevant in today’s workspace and cutting-edge in technology and focus.

  • Pasco
  • Vancouver
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant

Other Schools Offering Respiratory Therapy Courses in Oregon

Lane Community College
4000 East 30th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97405
Website: www.lanecc.edu/instadv/catalog/fahealth/programs/respcare.htm

Mt. Hood Community College
26000 SE Stark St
Gresham, OR 97030
Website: www.mhcc.cc.or.us/catalog/programs/respir.htm

Rogue Community College
3345 Redwood Highway
Grants Pass, OR 97527
Website: www2.rogue.cc.or.us/AlliedHealth/Respiratory/home.htm