Respiratory Therapy Program

The goal of the respiratory therapy program is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs). The Respiratory Therapy program combines classroom and clinical experiences. Faculty works with clinical sites and prospective employers to assure graduates are prepared for the rapidly changing health care environment. Individuals are provided with the knowledge and skills needed to provide care throughout the patient lifespan in various settings.

The coursework includes respiratory care fundamentals, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and critical care. Clinical experience integrates classroom materials into real-world applications. Respiratory Therapy is an exciting and challenging career. Therapists evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing and/or other cardiopulmonary problems.

They also provide education to aid in the prevention of further disease processes. Therapists consult with physicians and other health care providers to establish a comprehensive patient care plan.

Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exam, which is required to practice as a respiratory therapist. Employment may be found with acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician offices, home care, industry, and community agencies.

The AAS Degree Respiratory Therapy program at Wilkes Community College, located in Wilkesboro, N.C., program number 200544, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Program Information

  • Intro to Respiratory Care
  • RCP Pharmacology
  • RCP Pathophysiology
  • Critical Care Concepts
  • Neonatal/Pediatrics
  • Advanced Monitoring
  • Basic Anatomy & Physiology
  • Therapeutics/Diagnostics
  • Patient Management
Graduates of the WCC Respiratory Therapy program will:

  • Utilize critical thinking, diagnostic, and therapeutic skills to accurately assess a patient’s condition, develop a plan of care, and modify the treatment plan as needed so that safe and effective respiratory care is given.
  • Document completely and accurately using proper grammar and medical terminology.
  • Exhibit ethical, caring, and culturally competent behaviors toward patients and their family members.
  • Utilize professional communication and behavior when dealing with patients, their families, and other members of the healthcare team.

Contact Information

Image of Callie McCraw
Callie McCraw, BS
Health Sciences Admissions Advisor
Phone: 336-838-6459
Image of Billy Woods
Dean-Health Sciences & Director-Respiratory Therapy
Phone: 336-838-6496

Admission Information

The AAS Degree Respiratory Therapy program at Wilkes Community College located in Wilkesboro, NC, program number 200544, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
PO Box 54876
Hurst, Texas 76054-4876
(817) 283-2835 

Outcomes data for the program can be found at:

Purpose Statement

All students in the Respiratory Therapy program are expected to meet certain technical standards which are essential for successful completion of all phases of the program and reflect industry requirements and standards. Students are required to demonstrate the following program technical standards; examples are not all inclusive:

Standard Essential Function Examples
Communication- Oral/Written
  • Skills sufficient to communicate information and ideas so others will understand
  • Skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds
  • Document relevant patient information (manual or via computer) using correct terminology and spelling
  • Interpret doctor’s orders
  • Record patient responses to treatments
  • Establish rapport with patients, families, and other health care providers
Mobility/Motor Skills
  • Motor skills sufficient to quickly move the hands and fingers, and use hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble
  • Mobility sufficient to perform physical activities that require dexterity and flexibility to move body in a variety of positions
  • Utilize instruments with patients
  • Move around in patients’ rooms and treatment areas
  • Maneuver in confined spaces
  • Physical activities might include:
    • Bending
    • Stooping
    • Standing
    • Sitting
    • Lifting
    • Reaching
Physical Strength and Stamina
  • Able to stand for extended periods of time
  • Ability to lift and carry
  • Lift minimum of 30 lbs.
  • Stand and walk up to 12-hour shifts
  • Lift and/or maneuver patients
  • Lift and move equipment such as gas cylinders

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Taste
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Visual skills sufficient to see details at close range and manipulate equipment
  • Listening skills sufficient to communicate with others
  • Identify various sounds
  • Sense of touch sufficient to perform physical assessments
  • Ability to tolerate various odors
  • Observe patient responses to treatment
  • Hear equipment/emergency alarms, call bell, or call for help
  • Listen to heart, lung, and blood pressure sounds
  • Feel for pulse
  • Work with patients with poor hygiene
Environmental / 
Occupational Exposure
Work Environment
  • Frequent exposure to communicable and infectious diseases, secretions, blood and bodily fluids
  • Environmental hazards
  • Ability to work under high stress situations and respond promptly
  • Possible exposure to HIV, hepatitis, etc.
  • Exposure to X-ray radiation, medicinal preparations, latex, and toxic substances
  • Respond appropriately in emergency to maintain patient safety and care
Field or Industry Professional Standards
  • Criminal background check
  • CPR certification

Disability Services Statement

Wilkes Community College is an ADA compliant institution. WCC does not discriminate based on a disability in the admissions process or in access to its programs, services, and/or activities for qualified individuals who meet essential eligibility requirements. WCC will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities who are eligible to receive or participate in college programs, services, and/or activities. If a student believes that he/she cannot meet one or more of a program’s essential functions without accommodations, the student is encouraged to disclose this to Disability Services as soon as possible.

Academic Calendar

january 2021

09novAll Day09marOnline Registration for Currently Enrolled Students for Spring Semester (2nd 8-Week Block)WCC Calendars:Academic,Getting Started

09novAll Day01junOnline Registration for Currently Enrolled Students for Summer Term (8-Week and 1st 4-Week Block)WCC Calendars:Academic,Getting Started

09novAll Day28junOnline Registration for Currently Enrolled Students for Summer Term (2nd 4-Week Block)WCC Calendars:Academic,Getting Started

Programs of Study