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Community College of Allegheny County.

THE RESPIRATORY THERAPY PROGRAM AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY (CCAC) IS THE RESULT OF A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP between the college and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). UPMC needed to develop a larger base of qualified candidates for clinical positions, and through the partnership, UPMC-sponsored students in CCAC's respiratory therapy associate degree program can receive rip to $4,000 in tuition reimbursement when they commit to work for UPMC tot at least two years alter completing the CCAC program. The result has been called at win-win situation.

Respiratory therapy at CCAC is a tech prep option and provides training for students in the use of equipment in a hospital set lima. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Graduates of die program are eligible to take the certification examination leading to the RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist), which is sponsored by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

In the first year of the program, coursework covers English composition, respiratory care equipment, and respiratory therapy, Other courses include physics for the health science/respiratory therapy and cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology. Courses during the summer session include clinical practice. pulmonary diagnostic procedures and respiratory pharmacology.

In the third semester of the program. students take psychology and learn about the medical aspects of respiratory therapy. They also participate in a clinical externship in which they work under supervision in affiliated institutions and apply therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. Also included is critical and general patient care. In the fourth semester, the clinical externship is a continuation of the practical application of theory in the hospital. Emphasis is on critical care areas and advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

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In addition to the education they receive in the CCAC classroom and laboratory, the respiratory therapy students greatly benefit from the opportunity to receive clinical training at the region's top hospitals, such as UPMC Presbyterian. UPMC Shadyside and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

UPMC Manager of System Recruitment Mark Saltrelli. who worked with CCAC to develop the partnership, notes that the program helped UPMC develop a pool of very, qualified candidates who otherwise would have been unable to become respiratory therapists. "The collaboration with CCAC helped students develop a relationship with their future employer up front. which gives them a distinct advantage," notes Saltrelli. He also cites the benefits to UPMC, adding, "Having respiratory therapists trained at such a top school has given UPMC a decided edge in meeting our clinical staffing needs."

It's no wonder the partnership is called a win-win situation.

For more information about the Community College of Allegheny County and its respiratory therapy program, visit.www.ccac.edu.

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Title Annotation:SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT
Publication:Techniques
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2009
Words:447
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