Search form

You are here

Respiratory Care FAQs

Q: How is program effectiveness determined?

A: The program must, at a minimum, meet the outcome thresholds established by CoARC regardless of location and instructional methodology used. Program effectiveness is determined by the pass rates for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exams, employment and program completion rates, and graduate and employer satisfaction. You may find our Programmatic Outcomes on the CoARC site.

Q: Is there a waitlist for the Respiratory Care Program?

A: The Respiratory Care Program accepts up to 12 students per year. Admission numbers vary from year-to-year. It is recommended to check with Program Coordinators prior to applying to the program.

Q:  Can I attend the program part-time?

A: No. The Respiratory Care program is a full-time day program. Students should plan to be at the college or in the clinical setting from 7am to 4pm on most days. Some clinical shifts may run on a 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. schedule, and a brief sleep lab rotation runs from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Students can take pre-requisite courses and general education courses on a part-time basis prior to beginning professional and clinical coursework.

Q: I have a degree from another college. Will this allow me to complete the program in less time?

A: No. Respiratory Care courses run sequentially. For example: first semester courses must be completed prior to taking the second semester courses. You may, however, be able to transfer in common core classes such as English, Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Microbiology, and comparable Bioethics classes, which will substantially lighten your academic workload. You must contact the QCC Registrar’s Office to evaluate your transcripts. This office will determine the eligibility of your transfer credits.

Q: What is the current job market for Respiratory Care practitioners?

A: In New England, the current job market is tight in all sectors of the economy. However, healthcare is adding positions faster than other industries. Nationally, Respiratory Care positions are more plentiful. Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. You can get more data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Even though the program does not guarantee job placements, most of our graduates find employment within 6 months after graduation. This may be due to the fact that prior to graduation, all QCC graduates earn Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) certifications. These certifications make our graduates more marketable in a difficult economy. Our graduates have gone on to leadership roles (supervisor, manager/director), education/academics and industry.

Q:  Can I become a Respiratory Therapist through on-the-job training?

A: No. In order to practice Respiratory Care in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you must be a graduate of an accredited educational program in Respiratory Care and be eligible to sit for the NBRC credentialing examinations. You must also be licensed by your state’s licensing board.

Q:  Is the QCC program accredited?

A:  Yes. QCC is the oldest Respiratory Care Program in the State of Massachusetts. Since its inception, this Program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Graduates of our program are eligible to sit for the NBRC credentialing certifications to become Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT).

Q: Can I choose my clinical site?

A: No. The QCC Respiratory Care Program has clinical affiliation agreements with most of the hospitals in Central Massachusetts. The number of students who can be accommodated at any given clinical site is limited. Program faculty decides which clinical education setting is most appropriate for each student. Per CoARC standards, if you work at a clinical site as a paid student, you cannot count that experience toward your Respiratory Clinical experience.

Q: Can I work part-time while attending the program?

A: Many students do. You should be advised however, that the program curriculum is rigorous and will demand a great deal of time. Working less will increase your chances of success. You are prohibited from working 8 hours PRIOR to a clinical shift (i.e. working 11:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. clinical shift). 

Q: Can I work under a student license?

A: Yes! The Respiratory Care program is the only healthcare program at QCC that allows students to work under a limited student license. Hospitals throughout Massachusetts, including
hospitals in the Boston and Worcester area, will hire student Respiratory Therapist. To be eligible, the student must have successfully completed the first two semesters of the program and apply for a student license through the Commonwealth’s Board of Respiratory Care. Many students who work at a hospital with a student license end up obtaining a position at that hospital once they graduate and get their respiratory credentials and state license.

Q: Is financial aid available to students enrolled in the Respiratory Care Program?

A: Yes. There are many sources of financial aid available. Prospective students should make an appointment to speak to the college’s Financial Aid Office to discuss eligibility. The QCC Financial Aid Office is in Room 165A. Their phone number is 508.854.4261.

Q:  How do I apply to the college?

A: Stop by the QCC Admissions Office and fill out an application, or apply online at:

Q: How do I find out more information about the Respiratory Care Program and the application process?

A: 1. After students submit a formal application to the college, the Admissions Office will send
out a letter about attending a Health Information session.


Students can log onto The Q and open the Admissions tab then “My Admissions Information.”
Heath Information Sessions dates are listed in the right column.

2. Students can stop by Advising, located on the 2nd floor of the HLC building to meet with an Advisor. Appointments are not necessary. Normal Business hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Or they may call Advising at 509.854.4308. The Advising Office will be able to assist you with the admissions process and any questions you may have about the program.

Q: Is the TEAS Test required?

A: Yes. Information on this test is available

Q: Are there any “Discovery Activities” that should be completed prior to acceptance?

A: Yes! Candidates must go to the Be-An-RT site and view the Respiratory Care videos. Candidates are encouraged to explore the American Association of
Respiratory Care websit
e. Candidates are strongly encouraged to either attend one professional lecture prior to program acceptance or job shadow a Respiratory Therapist. A minimum of 4 hours of job shadowing is suggested. Arrangements for attending a professional lecture or contacts for a job shadowing maybe made by contacting the Program Director, Assistant Professor Keith Hirst (Khirst [at] or the Director of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor Amy Hogan (Ahogan [at] You are welcome to complete these steps while taking courses to meet the academic requirements.