What to Expect
Learn to plan and implement therapeutic and diagnostic procedures for patients suffering from a wide range of heart and lung disorders. Classroom and lab instruction, combined with clinical rotations in various clinical settings, provide technical knowledge and skills in:
- human anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and pathophysiology
- airway management and cardiopulmonary testing, monitoring and resuscitation
- assessment of cardio-respiratory patient status; provision of mechanical ventilator support; testing and evaluation of respiratory equipment.
Hands-on simulation exercises have been a key part of the School of Health and Life Sciences programs for a number of years. Now, a renewed focus on simulation means current and future students will benefit from even more immersive environments to practice their skills. Simulation is a learning tool that recreates real-life experiences in a controlled, safe environment.
- Respiratory Therapy photo gallery view photos illustrating some of the hands-on learning experienced by students in this program, from patient assessment to simulated critical care situations.
- Simulation exercises in the Respiratory Therapy program improve student preparedness for clinical rotations, and ultimately improve student performance and patient safety.
- Theoretical and clinical experience encompass the following areas:
- adult, pediatric, and neonatal intensive care units
- surgical suite
- hyperbaric oxygen unit
- home care
- pulmonary rehabilitation
- sleep diagnostics
- cardiac diagnostics
- emergency room
Classroom & Study Hours
Students can expect to spend, on average:
- 27 hours per week attending classes over the course of a semester.
- 10 to 15 hours per week studying and completing class assignments.
The Respiratory Therapy program has a dedicated lab with equipment designed to respond to 3 age groups – neonatal, pediatric and adult. Learn more at Respiratory Therapy facilities
Is This Program For You?
Prospective students must be interested in helping people, highly motivated and mature to deal with the stress of emergency care, critical care, home care, shift work, medicine and a difficult training program. Respiratory therapists are required to think independently, exercise good judgment, communicate effectively and work well in multi-disciplinary teams. Students must also have a strong background in the sciences, mathematics and English.
Clinical training occurs in a variety of learning environments and requires considerable self-discipline and motivation. Additionally, since respiratory therapists often work in high stress areas such as the intensive care unit, they must be able to cope with the stress of dealing with critically ill patients. Furthermore, respiratory care is a 24-hour concern and all major hospitals, including private companies and clinics, maintain a full shift of respiratory therapy personnel seven days a week. Irregular hours and shiftwork are to be expected.
Skills you will acquire
Major skills learned include:
- critical thinking and analysis in the provision of respiratory therapy
- problem solving, using diagnostic techniques
- specialized patient care in the acute and chronic areas
- evaluation of respiratory equipment and procedures
- consultant skills on respiratory health and well-being of clients in community care settings
A wealth of hands-on learning opportunities, practical experience with the equipment and technology used in today's medical facilities, and working with real patients in a controlled teaching environment are cornerstones of programs in NAIT's School of Health and Life Sciences.
This means that you'll get both in-depth knowledge and hands-on skills – a combination that gives you a valuable head start in building a strong future.
As a student in the School of Health and Life Sciences, see how it prepares you for a successful career.
- Alumni profiles – hear what our grads have to say about their NAIT education and how it has contributed to their careers.
- Student profiles – why do students choose NAIT? What's it like to be a student in the Health and Life Sciences programs? Find out from the students themselves.
- Clubs – a NAIT education extends well beyond the classroom. Find out how the Dental Assisting Club is making a real difference in our community.
- Awards and recognition – the quality of our programs and instruction shows! Our students and graduates excel at all levels.
- Video galleries – watch our students at work, see what they do and listen to why they've chosen the School of Health and Life Sciences.
- Photo galleries – get a view of our classrooms, facilities, equipment and laboratories.