A respiratory care student intubating a doll

Information Sessions Via Zoom

The Department of Respiratory Care is hosting a series of information sessions this spring that feature both our bachelor of science and master of science degree programs.

Register to attend!

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Watch this video to learn more about what a respiratory therapist does.

Why a Master’s Degree in Respiratory Care from UAMS?

The Master’s of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) degree prepares students to become excellent clinician and professional leaders in Respiratory Therapy. The program provides students with a strong, comprehensive foundation in clinical practice, education, evidence based medicine, and leadership. As an entry-to-practice program, no prior health care experience is required for admission. Students learn to increase their critical thinking and decision-making ability, which allows them to recommend treatment based on individual patient needs. UAMS offers a comprehensive academic medical center environment that provides a wide scope of educational and clinical experiences for the MSRC degree at an exceptional value.

The UAMS College of Health Professions offers bachelors and masters degrees in respiratory care. A recent study demonstrates evidence that respiratory practitioners with bachelors and masters degrees have positive impact on patient outcomes.

Advanced Degrees and Competencies Matter

Do patients cared for by RTs with higher degrees and greater competencies have better outcomes than those treated by RTs without those credentials? That’s the question researchers from Rush University asked in a study that compared outcomes among COVID-19 patients mainly treated by RTs with a bachelor’s degree or higher and adult critical care competencies and those mainly treated by RTs with an associate degree and no adult critical care competencies. Among the findings –

  • 260 subjects (median age 59 years; 166 males) received clinical care from 132 RTs.
  • RT median professional experience was six years, 70.8% had an advanced degree, and 70.8% had completed adult critical care competencies.
  • The time-to-event multi-state regression model showed that patients with >85% exposure to RTs with advanced degrees transitioned 3.72 times more frequently to good outcomes than RTs without advanced degrees.
  • Similarly, patients with >85% exposure to RTs with adult critical care competencies transitioned 5.10 times more frequently to good outcomes than RTs without adult critical care competencies.

The authors conclude, “This preliminary work suggests that advancing education for the respiratory therapist workforce may improve the discharge quality of patients with acute respiratory failure and should be further explored.” The study was funded by an AARC Vision Grant was published by the Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy on Sept. 8. READ FULL PAPER

What can you do with a master’s in respiratory care?

MSRC graduates are well suited for:

  • Clinical Practice: Advance your career to practice in high-demand specialty areas: cardiopulmonary, critical care, diagnostics, neonatal, pediatrics, sleep medicine, transport, home care, and research.
  • Disease Management: Collaborate with the interprofessional team to treat and recommend therapy for chronic disorders such as COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and neuromuscular disorders.
  • Leadership Positions: Position yourself for professional and clinical leadership roles as a respiratory care department manager, director or supervisor
  • Education: Fill clinical educator roles that teach practicing respiratory therapists or a faculty role teaching respiratory care to students
  • Discharge Planning: Work with the interprofessional team to create patient care plans
  • Business and Corporate Positions: work in research, product development, marketing, education, sales, and support for respiratory care equipment

How does a master’s degree add value to my professional career?

Respiratory therapists pursuing a master’s degree in the field will obtain a higher level of clinical understanding and prepares them to become a leader in the profession. The in-depth curriculum gives them the skills and confidence to analyze the latest health care research and apply it clinically to improve patient care. A master’s in respiratory care will set students apart from their colleagues when applying for desirable positions and promotions. The degree can accelerate your career path to meet your personal and professional goals sooner.

Program Accreditation

The MSRC program (#220176) in Little Rock, Arkansas holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com). This status signifies that a program with an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards (through submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self Study Report (PSSR) and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit), to be allowed to admit students. It is recognized as an accredited program by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which provides enrolled students who complete the program with eligibility for the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until it achieves Continuing Accreditation.