Edison State to offer Respiratory Care Program


PIQUA — Edison State Community College will launch its new Respiratory Care program beginning with the fall semester, which starts August 26, 2024.

Listed as a top job in demand in Ohio, respiratory therapists specialize in assessing and treating patients, ranging from infants to senior citizens, to manage and control breathing problems that may have resulted from disease, trauma, or developmental issues. Respiratory therapists train in a variety of treatment techniques and sophisticated equipment that allow them to save lives, improve the quality of life for patients, and build healthier communities.

“My motivation in the creation of the Respiratory Care program is centered on creating opportunities for individuals to care for others and improve their own lives,” said Zeke Wiechart, Edison State Director for Respiratory Care. “There’s a huge need in the state of Ohio and the nation as a whole to fill job openings, and we at Edison State have a wonderful opportunity to train therapists to fill the staffing shortages our health systems are facing.”

“Advisory committee members from hospitals in our region approached Edison State regarding the great need for respiratory therapists as the COVID crisis was winding down,” added Dr. Andy Runyan, Dean of Professional & Technical Programs at Edison State. “Retirements and turnover in the respiratory field were creating a significant need for therapists. While we were investigating the need, the Ohio Society for Respiratory Care provided the results of their 2021 survey showing that there are 1,217 openings on average each year in the State of Ohio and institutions within Ohio are only graduating 266 new therapists.”

Edison State’s Respiratory Care program consists of sequential courses that require five consecutive terms to complete. Students will complete courses in classrooms and laboratories and gain clinical experiences that build skills and allow for the demonstration of proficiency in real-life settings.

Students participating in the Respiratory Care program will learn the use of treatment processes, ventilators, and other equipment that make respiratory therapists a valuable part of a patient’s care team. After completing the program, students will receive an Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care and will be eligible to take the Respiratory Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) exam required for licensure as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT).

“Our local health care employers have been very supportive of our development of this program, and Edison State is nearing completion of the steps required to offer an associate degree in respiratory care beginning in fall 2024,” said Runyan.

Students wishing to begin the Respiratory Care program must register for initial respiratory courses with the program director’s approval, and they must complete the Medical Terminology class before admission.

Edison State is currently in the process of seeking Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accreditation for the Respiratory Care program. However, Edison State can provide no assurance that the CoARC will grant accreditation.

To learn more about the program, call an advisor at Edison State at 937.778.7850.

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