CCM Has the Solution and Celebrates Respiratory Care Week on October 23-29

Working as a respiratory therapist assisting physicians in diagnosing breathing disorders, assessing patients and recommending changes in the therapeutic approach to patient care is an outstanding career choice with promising job prospects. Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow by 23 percent through 2030, much faster than other health-related occupations, with about 10,100 openings each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The high demand is partly due to the country’s aging population and change in air quality. Also, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates there are 12 million patients suffering from undiagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Plus, medical advancements in disease prevention, improved medications and more sophisticated treatments contribute to an increased demand for respiratory therapists.

County College of Morris (CCM) has the solution with an Associate of Applied Science degree a student can complete in just two years to gain direct entry into the rewarding profession – a profession that also offers flexibility for those with busy schedules.

“You can choose the area where you are most knowledgeable and comfortable,” says Professor John Rutkowski, RRT, MBA, MPA, LFACHE, FAARC, director of the CCM Respiratory Therapy Program. “Perhaps you like working with children from newborn to 18 years of age, working with patients with neuromuscular problems, or are best suited to work in a trauma unit or enjoy diagnostic work. Respiratory Therapists also work with patients requiring different levels of care, acute care, subacute care or home care. You can be whatever you want to be and work in an environment you like.”

At CCM, the professors have diverse educational and professional backgrounds and the program’s low faculty-to-student ratio provides for individualized attention in the classroom, lab and clinical settings. Students additionally benefit from a technologically advanced education. The CCM Respiratory Therapy Laboratory is state-of-the-art and equipped with ventilators, intubation devices, spirometers, and arterial blood gas monitors. Realistic clinical simulation is done using high-fidelity mannequins linked to computer software, allowing students to be well-prepared for the workplace. In addition, the CCM program is recognized as among the Top 10 Percent associate degree programs nationwide by College Factual.

At CCM, there are two phases to the Respiratory Therapy program. The pre-professional phase consists of general education and science courses taken on a full-time or part-time basis in the day or evening. Acceptance into the professional phase is determined by grades in the pre-professional phase and there is a separate application.

CCM graduates are eligible to apply for Licensure as a Respiratory Care Practitioner in New Jersey. Fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, graduates also are prepared to enter the workforce in management, administration, teaching and research positions. Some have established their own respiratory homecare companies providing equipment and clinical services. Others have started businesses in such areas as patient care education and respiratory diagnostic services.

The average salary for respiratory therapists is over $62,000 making it a worthwhile and rewarding career path for those interested in health care.

“I have enjoyed being a respiratory therapist for over 50 years,” says Rutkowski. “While I have moved around to different levels in healthcare, I have always called myself a respiratory therapist. It didn’t make a difference if I was a practicing clinician, supervisor, administrator for multiple departments or an educator. I have enjoyed every minute of my career; I believe you would as well. I enjoy the profession because it focuses on the patient, but it is also very high tech.”

According to Professor Denise Vill’neuve, chair of the Allied Health Sciences department at CCM, “Working in an allied health profession brings great professional and personal satisfaction, knowing that you are helping people using the latest technologies and healthcare protocols with compassion and understanding.”

CCM celebrates and is grateful for all respiratory therapists this October 23 – 29, Respiratory Care Week. Visit the American Association for Respiratory Care.

To learn more about CCM’s Respiratory Therapy Program, visit, call the Allied Health department at 973-328-5144 or email Rutkowski at Campus and facilities tours are available on weekdays. For the latest news, follow the CCM Respiratory Therapy Club on Facebook @CCM Respiratory Therapy Club.


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