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Respiratory Care

The Degree

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Outlook

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Over the last few years, the role of respiratory care professionals has expanded greatly. Therapists are also needed to serve on multidisciplinary teams within the health care environment. For these and many other reasons, the need for therapists with multiple skills is expected to increase. Respiratory therapists can go on to become:

  • Managers
  • Administrators
  • Supervisors
  • Educators

The Program

Respiratory care is a health care specialty involving the treatment, management, control, diagnostic evaluation, and care of patients with cardiopulmonary diseases. Working with a team of physicians, nurses, therapists, and other acute care specialists, respiratory therapists play an important role in helping patients recover from injury or illness.

Respiratory therapy has been around in many forms since the 1940's. Professionals working in the field have been called oxygen technicians, inhalation therapists, respiratory therapists, and respiratory care practitioners. It is only within the last few decades that respiratory care has taken its place as an essential and non-replaceable part of the health care delivery system.

Through a regional articulation agreement with Genesee Community College, Finger Lakes Community College offers access to a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in respiratory care. This agreement will allow you to apply for admission to the program. In addition, it will allow you the opportunity to complete Genesee's first-year course requirements at FLCC's Canandaigua campus. In the second year, you will attend classes at GCC and complete clinical internships at health care facilities in your home area. Upon completion of all curriculum requirements, you will apply for graduation through GCC and, if all requirements are met, the A.A.S. degree in respiratory care is awarded.

The Faculty

The program director and also an instructor in the program is Josh Escudero. He has served on the staffs of Strong Memorial Hospital and Rochester General Hospital in the Rochester, NY area. Escudero holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Hamilton College, a Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care from SUNY Upstate Medical University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

Lezli Giancarlo is a respiratory care clinical education coordinator and is an instructor in the program. She has served on the staffs of Millard Filmore Gates Hospital, Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Visiting Nurses Association (Respiratory Division), and Erie County Medical Center in the Buffalo, NY area. Giancarlo holds an A.A.S. degree in respiratory therapy and cardiopulmonary technology from the Community College of the Air Force and a B.S. degree in psychology from Texas State University.