Respiratory Therapy

About the respiratory therapy major

Respiratory therapists help people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. They work with people of all ages—from babies to the elderly. Advanced-level therapists participate in clinical decision making, patient education, the development and implementation of protocols and treatment plans, health promotion, disease prevention, and disease management. In addition to the classroom and laboratory courses in the program, IU Indianapolis respiratory therapy students will complete over 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience caring for real patients.

Skills and abilities this major develops: ability to work both independently and in a team; developing and implementing effective care plans, protocols, and disease management programs; critical thinking skills; knowledge of health conditions and procedures; and intricate knowledge of the human body systems.

Engaged learning experiences

Regardless of your major or future career, engaged learning is vital to your present and future. It makes you more marketable for jobs and professional schools upon graduation, it enables you to build deeper connections with faculty and staff in your field of study, and it makes your learning personal by connecting your interests and values with the curriculum from your classes. Check out the three ideas below for places to get started, or learn more at IU Indianapolis’s Institute for Engaged Learning website.

Quick facts

Sample coursework

  • Advanced life support
  • Cardiorespiratory pharmacology
  • Human anatomy and physiology with lab
  • Microbiology
  • Patient education techniques
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation and geriatrics 

Possible careers

  • Asthma (health) educator
  • Newborn/pediatric respiratory therapist
  • Polysomnographer
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Tobacco interventionist

Where could I work?

  • Ascension St. Vincent
  • Eskenazi Health
  • Franciscan Health
  • Hancock Regional Hospital
  • IU Health
  • Riley Hospital for Children

Health and Life Sciences Cluster

This major belongs to the Health and Life Sciences (HLS) cluster.

Learn about the HLS cluster

Learn about other clusters

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