Bachelor of Applied Science

Respiratory Care


Respiratory Care involves the treatment of those with asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiolitis, lung injury, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory-related ailments. Those trained in the field evaluate, treat, monitor and aid in the prevention of many breathing disorders.

Kapi‘olani Community College is one of many accredited two-year Respiratory Therapy programs across the nation and the only program in the state. Through programs like these, students learn the technical training needed to work in the field and are well-prepared to earn the credentials of a Certified and Registered Respiratory Therapist. UH West O‘ahu’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree, with a concentration in Respiratory Care, is designed to supplement the technical training that a student receives in an accredited associate degree Respiratory Therapy program. Students develop job skills that are needed to excel in the industry, such as critical thinking and communication skills. The program also exposes students to the historical, cultural, and social context of the profession. In addition, courses in research and contemporary health care issues expand the depth in the students’ applied health sciences knowledge base. UH West O‘ahu courses are delivered both in-class and through distance learning instruction.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a concentration in Respiratory Care from UH West O‘ahu will be able to:

  • Demonstrate clinical ability using respiratory therapy “best practices.”
  • Articulate the fundamentals of health care administration and policy in the rapidly changing medical system of the U.S.
  • Explore the linkages between health care policy, case management processes, and the practice of respiratory therapy, and examine relevant case management models.
  • Understand how research findings are analyzed and used to inform best-practice models in patient management, including protocols related to particular conditions.

Careers and Earning Potential

Respiratory Care graduates are found in a variety of work settings in the health care industry including laboratories, corporations, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and patients’ homes. Graduates who have earned the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential can pursue specializing in pulmonary function testing, neonatal-pediatrics, or earning higher-level degrees including a UH West O‘ahu Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

UH West O‘ahu’s bachelor’s degree program opens the door to a variety of management, education, clinical specialties, and entrepreneurial opportunities for Respiratory Therapists. Career opportunities are available at hospital emergency rooms, pediatric units, intensive care units, surgical units, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, and more. The average yearly salary range of a RRT credentialed Respiratory Therapist in Hawai‘i is approximately $60,000 to $75,000 per year.

For more information on careers and earning potential, visit the Hawaiʻi Career Explorer website.