What Will You Become?
Iowa Western Community College

Pre-Respiratory Therapy

Pre-Respiratory Therapy

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Length: 2 Years
Award: A.S.

Average Class Size: 20
Part-Time or Full-Time: Both
Program Courses Offered: Day, Evening, Online
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

Respiratory therapy is a highly specialized area of health care, but with an increasing elderly population, it is becoming an in-demand profession that you can take advantage of by enrolling in Iowa Western’s Pre-Respiratory Therapy program. You’ll first earn an Associate of Science degree before pursuing a bachelor's degree.

Respiratory Therapy is the evaluation, treatment, and care of breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. You’ll one day practice under the direction of a physician and independently provide therapeutic treatments and perform diagnostic procedures.

At Iowa Western, you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience in our high-tech labs. You’ll benefit from individual instructor attention, study groups, and free tutoring over the two-year course of study. This program will give you the necessary skills to transfer and complete a bachelor’s degree and eventually became certified as a respiratory therapist.

After completing all of the pre-requisite coursework, applicants must apply to an accredited respiratory therapy program. These programs usually award either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Two credentials can be awarded to respiratory therapists who meet the requirements and pass the examination(s): Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT).

Career Information

The Pre-Respiratory Therapy program is designed for students intending to transfer on to a four-year institution. Respiratory therapists set up and operate various types of equipment, such as ventilators, oxygen tents, resuscitators, and incubators, to administer oxygen and other medicinal gases or aerosol drugs to patients under a physicians care.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate competency in the scientific laboratory.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship of the periodic table of the elements to the functions of various systems of the body.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the anatomical and physiological properties of the human body including cellular, tissue, organs, and systems.


* Minimum of a Bachelor's degree is necessary for employment in this area.

* A.A. and A.S. Degree Programs provide students a general education core in Communications, Social Sciences, Science & Mathematics, Humanities, and Diversity. The foundation of required and elective courses prepares students for transfer into a four-year college or university bachelor's degree Program.