Main Content
Respiratory Therapy Banner

Respiratory Therapist

Are you interested in pursuing a dynamic allied health career that has excellent job placement as well as salary and benefits? Respiratory Therapy is an emerging field with numerous opportunities within the health care spectrum. If you enjoy helping people and would like to be part of the health care team, then becoming a respiratory therapist may be the profession for you!

Respiratory Therapists rank #16 in Best Health Care Jobs in 2018
~ U.S. News & World Report


Students explaining lung functions at Open HouseRespiratory Therapists provide treatment for individuals with pulmonary and cardiac conditions.  Therapists work in hospitals, health clinics, physician offices, government facilities and provide care in the home.

As a student in the respiratory program at Allegany College of Maryland you will be exposed to a variety of clinical experiences.  Clinical rotations include:  intensive and cardiac care, emergency room care, surgical-operating room procedures, pulmonary function testing, sleep study testing, neonatal/pediatric intensive care and home care.

The program has over 30 clinical affiliates which students have an opportunity to gain experience from. We have established articulation agreements with major medical centers located in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD and Pittsburg, PA. Our program has affiliations with Johns Hopkins Medical Center, University of Maryland Medical Center/Shock Trauma and Children's National Medical Center, just to name a few.

The ACM Respiratory Therapy Program has an excellent job placement record and most graduates are offered jobs prior to graduation. In addition, the program and faculty work creatively with students to assist them in obtaining clinical rotation experiences at facilities which they are interested in seeking employment upon graduation.

The ACM Respiratory Therapist program is designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). Maryland residents from counties other than Allegany County who register in this eligible program will be charged the out-of-county tuition rate. However, these students may be eligible to receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost difference between the in-county and out-of-county tuition rates. Funding availability for this program is based on funding from the state of Maryland and is thus subject to change each semester. Some restrictions apply. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

The Respiratory Therapist curriculum is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244. Programmatic Outcomes Data can be found in their Annual Report of Current Status.  Graduates receive an Associate of Applied Sciences degree and are eligible to write the National Board for Respiratory Care's entry level and registry level examinations.


Course Info

The Respiratory Therapy Program has a selective admissions process.  Students must have successfully completed required pre-respiratory classes in order to be accepted into the clinical phase of the program.

The following is the list of required pre-respiratory courses:

  • English 101
  • Chemistry 100
  • Human Biology 116
  • Math 93 or College Algebra 102 *
  • Introduction to Respiratory Therapy
    *Students must satisfactorily complete College Algebra 102 to be eligible to graduate.

Once you have been accepted into the clinical phase of the Respiratory Therapist program, you will expand your knowledge and training through the following challenging courses:

  • Clinical Practice I
  • Clinical Practice II
  • Clinical Practice III
  • Clinical Practice IV
  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology
  • Cardiopulmonary Assessment and Diagnostics
  • Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology
  • Pediatrics & Neonatology
  • Community Health and Education

A full listing of program courses and their descriptions can be found in the credit catalog.

These links open to specific catalog pages and are best viewed through Firefox, Crome, or Internet Explorer.  Safari browsers will not link to the specific page. 

Career Info

The following is a list of Career Paths available in the respiratory therapy profession:

  • Staff Respiratory Therapist
  • Flight/ Trauma Therapist
  • Respiratory Supervisor/Manager
  • Adult Intensive Care Specialist
  • Neonatal/Pediatric Intensive care Specialist
  • Pulmonary Function Testing
  • Polysomnography (Sleep Testing)
  • Home Care
  • Respiratory Educator
  • Military Service Health Care

Specialty Areas:

  • CPFT (Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist)
  • RPFT (Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist)
  • ACCS (Adult Critical Care Specialist)
  • NPS (Neonatal Pediatric Specialist)
  • SDS (Sleep Disorder Specialist)


View Salary Information from the U.S. Dept. of Labor

Career Coach - Helping Students Set Career Goals

Faculty/Staff Info

Paula Fuller, Professor and Program Director


A.A.S., Allegany College of Maryland
B.S., Salisbury University
M.Ed., Frostburg State University


Scott Diehl, BS, RRT,  Director of Clinical Education


Beverly Melmed, RRT,  Instructor


Kathy WilsonAdministrative Assistant


Media Gallery