Respiratory Care Program Prepares Students for Dynamic Careers

Published on: June 21, 2007

HOUSTON, TX - June 21, 2007—One glance at the classified section in the newspaper and it's easy to see that the medical field is in demand of skilled professionals. At Lone Star College-Kingwood, respiratory therapy students are prepared to meet the demand in a field that is expected to increase by 46 percent by the year 2014.

With the demand for skilled respiratory therapists, alumnae do not wait for jobs with some medical institutions offering signing bonuses of as much as $15,000. Employment can be found in acute care hospitals, sub-acute and skilled nursing facilities, medical clinics, research, home care, rehabilitation, sales and education.

Practitioners work side-by-side with nurses and doctors as a respected member of the health care team. Hospitals encourage their staff practitioners to continually learn and to improve their skills and often pay for continuing education. Respiratory care is also a career with job mobility and advancement opportunities.

"Graduates from the program have a 100 percent employment rate," explained Kenny McCowen, program director for the Respiratory Care Department at Lone Star College-Kingwood. "They are successful on credential exams and are desired anywhere from suburban Houston to the Houston Medical Center."

Within the respiratory care field, there are specialties that include neonatal, pediatrics, acute care, critical care and diagnostics. Through the learning process, students are able to identify which specialty will best suit their personality. McCowen said that the faculty members in the respiratory care department are diverse, educated specialists in the field of respiratory care.

"The professors are a fantastic team," said McCowen. "They are all complete experts in the field and have more than 120 years combined experience in the field with many still working in the field as well as teaching."

Students learn in classrooms and laboratories of the Health Science Building at Lone Star College-Kingwood with both daytime and evening classes available.

"Our labs are set up in a state-of-the-art educational facility where students are trained in a hospital setting," said McCowen. "A lot of the learning process is conducted through critical thinking scenarios and with the intensive care lab we can simulate actual disease processes and have students work through the situation in a safe environment so that they can become competent practitioners."

Students will also attend Practicum classes which will meet in the local acute care hospitals, clinics, or rehabilitation hospitals. Under the supervision of a credentialed respiratory therapist, the student will be assigned patients for whom they will provide respiratory care as ordered by the patients' physicians.

Prior to graduation, students will have worked in at least four institutions, learning the difference between acute and chronic care, between general and pediatric hospitals, and between rural hospitals and urban medical centers.

The respiratory care program has two start dates - one, the day program begins in the spring semester with completion in the fall semester of the second year and the second is an evening program beginning in the fall semester with completion in the summer semester of the second year. Admission is limited to twenty-four students per program and freshman English, intermediate Algebra and a strong science background are some requirements of the program.

Student applications must be completed by August 1 to be considered for the fall evening program and by September 15 to be considered for the January 2008 program. To find out more about the respiratory care program at Lone Star College-Kingwood call 281-312-1608 or email Kenny McCowen at kenny.p.mccowen@lonestar.edu.

Students can register now for summer terms I and II, and fall three ways: online, by telephone and on-site. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. Current students can register by telephone at 281-591-6625. Former and current students can register online at kingwood.lonestar.edu/goto/registration.

The first session of summer classes begins June 4 through July 11 with the second session beginning July 12 through Aug. 16. For more information about summer classes, call 281-312-1600 or visit kingwood.lonestar.edu for a complete schedule of classes.

The Lone Star College System is among the largest and fastest growing community college districts in Texas. It comprises Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Tomball, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College–CyFair, six satellite centers and The University Center. For more information about Lone Star College System and its programs, visit www.lonestar.edu or call 832-813-6500.