Respiratory Therapy

San Juan College School of Health Sciences
Respiratory Therapy Program

Respiratory Therapy (AAS.RESP) 91-92 credit hours

The Profession of Respiratory Care

Respiratory Students

Respiratory Therapy is an allied health profession that deals with patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists are health professionals that evaluate, treat, and manage patients with respiratory problems and other cardiopulmonary disorders under medical supervision. Respiratory therapists perform patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, emergency and critical care, patient education, pulmonary rehabilitation and home care. For more information about a career in Respiratory Therapy, visit the American Association for Respiratory Care website.

Why should I become a respiratory therapist?

(From the AARC website)
The demand for health care professionals has never been higher, so job stability is excellent. Continued growth in biomedical technology ensures the field will never get boring. And the opportunity to really help people and make a lasting and meaningful difference in the lives of others means you’ll get much more out of your career than just a paycheck.

But with all the health care professions out there, how can you know which one is right for you? It’s not an easy decision, but if you agree with the following statements, you might discover respiratory therapy is exactly what you’ve been looking for:

  • I really enjoy helping people out in their time of need.
  • I like working with technology and I'm good in math and science.
  • I’m looking for a career with multiple opportunities for advancement—not just one.
  • I would rather work in a profession where there’s a lot of variety in the job.
  • I want to be able to choose what type of place I work in, and the type of patients I work with.

If this sounds like you, a career in respiratory therapy could be a great fit.
For more information, please watch the "Life and Breath" video at

How much do RT’s make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Average annual earnings of RTs in the US is $62,223.
Average annual salary in NM is $50,610.


San Juan College has been notified that its Respiratory Therapy Program has been placed on Probationary Accreditation as of November 21, 2015 by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).  It is important to note that the program continues to maintain its current accreditation status.  Enrolled students completing the program under Probationary Accreditation are considered graduates of a CoARC accredited program. The San Juan College Respiratory Therapy Program has submitted the required documentation to the CoARC, and is actively working with the commission to rectify the deficiencies. The program is scheduled for a status review, November  of 2016.

Questions concerning the Probationary Accreditation status can be directed to the Dean of Health Sciences (Dr. Teddy A. Farias), the program director (Karen Tuohey), or you can contact the CoARC directly using the following contact information.

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford Texas 76021-4244
(817) 283-2835


The Respiratory Therapy Program is housed at the Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC), a state-of-the-art simulated “hospital” in the new 40,000 sq. ft. building. The Simulation Center is equipped with; ER, ICU, OR, 2 Skills Lab, Medical Technology Laboratory, and classrooms with advanced audio-visual technology.

A computer lab is provided for examinations, study with audio visual programs and for practice of certifications. The simulation laboratories are equipped with high fidelity human patient simulators or manikins from adults to newborn. The Respiratory Therapy Program has an additional 2-bed simulation laboratory for newborn and skills development.

For more information, please call Paulette Stanley at (505) 566-3851. Or send an email to