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Respiratory Care (A.S.)

  • Location IconBrookings
  • Location IconHuron
  • Location IconMadison
  • Location IconRapid City
  • Location IconSioux Falls

Breathe life into your career.

Breathing is a privilege many of us may take for granted. However, those with cardiopulmonary diseases know just how hard breathing can be. At SDSU, you can become a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) and help patients manage their breathing obstacles. To better fit your schedule, you can complete your program in Brookings, Huron, Madison, Sioux Falls or Rapid City. 

Students in the SDSU Respiratory Care program are exposed to advanced technology and the latest respiratory equipment, to include:

  • Ventilators
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood analyzing machines
  • Medical charting systems

Students will develop skills and master concepts in:

  • Patient assessment
  • Neo-natal care
  • Hemodynamic analysis
  • Ventilator Management
  • Emergency and trauma
  • Pulmonary diagnostic testing
  • Disease management
  • Respiratory pharmacology

The SDSU respiratory care program offers associate and baccalaureate respiratory care degrees, to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains of respiratory care practice, as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRT's). Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to take the entry-level examination of the National Board for Respiratory Care to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). CoARC is the organization that accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an "outcome-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.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Enjoy helping people in their time of need.
  • Enjoy problem solving.
  • Want the ability to work in a variety of places with patients of all ages.
  • Want to work in a profession with lots of variety.
  • Like technology and science.

Career Opportunities

  • Adult critical care specialist
  • Neonatal/pediatric specialist
  • Pulmonary function technologist
  • Sleep disorders specialist

Recent Employers

  • Sanford Health
  • Avera Health
  • Monument Health

Clubs and Organizations

  • South Dakota Society for Respiratory Care (SDSRC)
  • SDSU Respiratory Care Club

Undecided or still deciding on a major and future career?

If you are uncertain about your major and have questions about career planning, you are not alone. Choosing a major or career can be a very difficult decision. The exploratory studies program may be a good fit if you are unsure of your major and career focus. Entering the university in the exploratory studies program will help you gain confidence and valuable insights on majors and minors available at SDSU and future career choices. 

In addition, FOCUS 2 Career, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you reflect on your values, interests, personality traits and skills to provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 Career by using their student email and password. After completing FOCUS 2 Career, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.