Moraine Valley Community College || Health Sciences || Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapy—FAQs

What clinical affiliations are used by the program?
The following agencies support clinical education for the MVCC Respiratory Therapy students. Please note this roster may change without notice.
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center
Advocate Hope Children's Hospital
Holy Cross Hospital
Ingalls Memorial Hospital
Little Company of Mary Hospital
Loyola University Medical Center Mt. Sinai Medical Center
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Palos Community Hospital
Provena Mercy Medical Center
Provena St. Joseph Medical Center
St. James Chicago Heights
St. James Olympia Fields
University of Illinois at Chicago

Can I Transfer In?
Moraine Valley Community College's Respiratory Therapy Program accepts transfer students on a case-by-case basis. To find out if you qualify for transfer, contact Carolyn De Witt, program coordinator at (708) 608-4326 or

How much money are respiratory therapists paid?
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reported median annual earnings of $52,200 for respiratory therapists (May 2008). The middle 50% of respiratory therapists earned between $44,490 and $61,720. The lowest 10% earned less than $37,920, and the highest 10% earned more than $69,800.

What are the program requirements once I'm accepted?

  • Students must earn a grade of "C" (2.0) or better in each required career course (theory and clinical).
  • Students are responsible for transportation to and from clinical affiliates.
  • Students must complete a physical exam and provide immunization records.
  • Students are responsible for securing uniforms, a stethoscope, watch with a second hand, a lab coat and ID pin.
  • A liability insurance fee is required.
  • A criminal background check is required.
  • Students must have health insurance.
  • Current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR card. The Moraine Valley noncredit course that provides this training is AH8-039. For more information on CPR for Healthcare Providers, contact Aurora Zwick, Workforce Development, at (708) 974-5735.

Do I need a license or registration to be a respiratory therapist?
Yes, you do. In Illinois you need to take and pass the national Certification Examination, offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, in order to apply for an Illinois State license. Once you pass this exam, you earn the credentials of CRT. A second level of testing is required for you to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist, or RRT. For more information on the CRT and RRT credentials, see

Can I work full-time while going to school?
Generally not. The respiratory program is very time-intense. Course work during the fall, spring, and summer semesters requires a large time commitment. Most students work part-time while enrolled our program.

Can I choose my clinical assignment, and are the hours flexible?
You will rotate through at least four different facilities while in the program. Efforts may be made to accommodate some clinical requests, but you need to be willing and able to travel to any of the clinical sites, as it will not be possible to accommodate all requests. Starting times may be as early as 6 a.m. The afternoon shift may end as late as 11:30 p.m. The starting and ending time are determined by the hospital and is not negotiable. Careful consideration of your ability to travel and adjust your personal schedule prior to application into this program is strongly advised.

What are some characteristics of a good respiratory therapist?
Health care demands the highest level of professionalism and ethical behavior of its members. There can be no compromise of academic, professional, or personal integrity of our students or graduates. Respiratory therapists need to be compassionate, empathetic human beings. Therapists see patients and their families during very stressful times. We treat critically ill patients with multiple problems, and patients of all ages with terminal and life-threatening illnesses.

Respiratory therapy requires excellent critical thinking skills and the ability to make rapid decisions under stress, acting appropriately in emergency situations. Problem solving, being good with your hands, and excellent communication skills also are necessary traits of a respiratory therapist.

Where can I get more information?

Professional Organizations
American Association for Respiratory Care
Illinois Society for Respiratory Care

Credentialing Agencies
National Board for Respiratory Care

Licensure Requirements
Illinois Department of Professional Regulation

Program Accreditation
The Moraine Valley Community College Respiratory Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
1248 Harwood Rd
Bedford Texas 76021

If you need additional information or would like to schedule an appointment or talk to current students/practitioners, contact Carolyn De Witt, program coordinator at (708) 608-4326 or