Jefferson State celebrates first respiratory therapy program graduates

FROM STAFF REPORTS

HOOVER – Jefferson State held a “Pinning Ceremony” for the first graduates of the Respiratory Therapy Program on Friday, Dec. 13 at the Shelby-Hoover Campus.

“We are so excited for these respiratory therapy students and their job opportunities,” said Jefferson State Director of Community Relations David Bobo. “These graduates have chosen an in-demand career and many of them have already accepted job offers.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia.

The median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $60,280 in May 2018.

“The Respiratory Therapy Program is an excellent example of Jefferson State meeting the demands of our community,” said Bobo. “Several hospitals came to us and expressed their need for Respiratory Therapist, and here we are, celebrating both the graduation of these students and the filling of in-demand positions in healthcare.”

The Associate in Applied Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy is a 76-semester credit hour program that consists of general education classes, respiratory therapy classes and clinical activities.

Respiratory therapists are responsible for assessments, treatments, diagnostic testing and having critical thinking skills, while multi-tasking, for all patients in a healthcare or homecare settings, especially patients with cardiopulmonary diseases.

To learn more about Jefferson State’s Respiratory Therapy program, visit JeffersonState.edu/rpt.