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Respiratory Care Program (Minnesota)

Curriculum

Mayo Clinic respiratory therapy student practicing a procedure with a mannequin with a faculty member supervising

Student experiences

Classroom learning

Students are first introduced to the respiratory therapy field through topics that include patient assessment, laboratory and chest X-ray interpretation, oxygen therapy, and medication delivery. You’ll then move on to more advanced topics like mechanical ventilation, pathophysiology, cardiopulmonary diagnostic testing, and hemodynamic monitoring.

Labs and simulation

Before entering any clinical care setting, you’ll first practice the skills you learned in one of our labs or simulation centers, sometimes working with live actors.

Hands-on clinical rotations

Mayo Clinic is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world. Your clinical education will primarily take place at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, a 1,157-bed facility. Within Saint Marys Campus is the 85-bed Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital. Students also have rotations within Mayo Clinic Health System.

Facilities and faculty

Learn more about the facilities and faculty of the Respiratory Care Program (Minnesota).

Facilities

The Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus; Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus; and substantial research and education facilities.

This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

Primarily, clinical education is conducted at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, a 1,157-bed facility that was founded in 1889. Within Saint Marys Campus, is the 85-bed Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital. Students also have rotations within Mayo Clinic Health System.

Teaching faculty

We have a dedicated team that educates, supervises and mentors respiratory care students as they rotate through the specialty rotations.

Your instructors are trained respiratory care therapists. They are chosen for their commitment to teaching as well as their expertise in providing respiratory testing and care.

Vanessa King, RRT, M.Ed.
Program Director

Vanessa King joined the Respiratory Care Program in 2006. She graduated from the North Dakota State University respiratory therapy program in 1992 and from University of Minnesota in 2004 with an M.Ed in human resource development. Prior to assuming the role of program director, Ms. King was a clinical preceptor for several years after joining the respiratory therapy department in 1997. She is an instructor in anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. Her teaching interests include patient assessment, anatomy and physiology, adult critical care and professional development.

James Findlay, M.B., Ch.B.
Medical Director
Consultant in Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Dr. James Findlay graduated from Edinburgh University with a BSc with first class honors in medical sciences/biochemistry in 1984, and then in medicine (MB, ChB) in 1986. He completed anesthesia training in Scotland, achieving FRCA in 1990 and specialty certification in anesthesia in 1997. He subsequently completed fellowships in Critical Care Medicine and Transplantation Anesthesia at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He joined the staff at Mayo Clinic in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine in 1997. He obtained ABA certification in anesthesiology (1998) and critical care medicine (1999). He is currently a consultant in anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, an associate professor, and has been adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota since 2005.

He has taught in the Respiratory Care Program since 1999 and has been Medical Director since 2004. He also teaches residents and fellows in the Mayo Clinic Anesthesiology and Critical Care programs and has been the coordinator for transplant anesthesia. He has served on the programming committee for several national and international meetings.

Dr. Findlay’s research interests include cardiorespiratory complications of liver failure, pre-transplant evaluation for liver transplantation and perioperative management of transplant patients. He has published papers in many journals including Anesthesiology, Anesthesia and Analgesia, Intensive Care Medicine, Liver Transplantation, Transplantation, British Journal of Anaesthesia, American Journal of Transplantation, Journal of Clinical Transplantation, Transplantation Proceeding, is the author of several book chapters and has presented widely at national and international meetings.

Dr. Findlay is a member of a number of associations including ASA, SCCM, ILTS, IARS, MMA. He is a past Chair of both the ASA Committee on Transplant Anesthesia and ILTS Anesthesia/Critical Care Committee.

Bill Letourneau, MA, RRT – ACCS
Associate Program Director

Bill LeTourneau joined the Respiratory Care Program in 2014. He graduated from the Saint Paul College Respiratory Therapy Program in 1999. Mr. Letourneau has a B.S. degree in pulmonary science and a M.A. degree in strategic communication management from Concordia University of Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is an instructor in anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. Mr. LeTourneau is a registered respiratory therapist and is a member of the American Association for Respiratory Care and the American Thoracic Society.

Mr. LeTourneau has over 20 years of health care experience. Prior to coming to Mayo Clinic in August 2014, Mr. LeTourneau was the respiratory therapy supervisor at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minnesota, and adjunct faculty at the Saint Paul College Respiratory Therapy Program.

Mr. LeTourneau’s research interests are in airway management and mechanical ventilation. He has published his research in peer-reviewed scientific and professional journals, including Respiratory Care and The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 

Carl D. Mottram, RRT
Advanced Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics Course Coordinator

Carl Mottram holds the academic rank of Associate Professor of Medicine with Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is the technical director of the Mayo Clinic Pulmonary Function laboratory. He serves as President of the Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI). In addition, he serves on the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) and chairs the NBRC Pulmonary Function Credentialing Exam Committee. Mr. Mottram is a recognized expert in the field of pulmonary diagnostics, has published numerous articles, and is the author and editor of the definitive textbook in pulmonary function testing.

Hours

For the majority of the Respiratory Care Program, your learning schedule will include eight-hour and 12-hour days, five days a week.

Course sequence

There are a total of 61 credits in the program.

Junior year: Fall semester (15 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

RESP 3011

Foundations of Respiratory Care

2

HP 3021

Patient Care Techniques

1

RESP 3101

Respiratory Care Modalities and Equipment

4

RESP 3201

Cardiopulmonary Patient Assessment

4

RESP 3301

Clinical Practicum I

3

RESP 3401

Seminar in Respiratory Care I

1

Junior year: Spring semester (14 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

RESP 3102

Respiratory Care Modalities and Equipment II

4

RESP 3202

Advanced Cardiopulmonary Physiology and Pathophysiology

3

RESP 3302

Clinical Practicum II

3

RESP 3402

Seminar in Respiratory Care II

1

RESP 3502

Clinical Research: Literature, Methodology, and Application

3

Senior year: Summer semester (4 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

RESP 4300

Clinical Practicum

2

RESP 4400

Advanced Adult Respiratory Critical Care Techniques I

2

Senior year: Fall semester (15 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

PHAR 3800

Pharmacotherapy for the Health Professions (online)

3

RESP 4500

Advanced Adult Respiratory Critical Care Techniques II

1

RESP 4311

Advanced Perinatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care

3

RESP 4321

Advanced Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics

2

RESP 4331

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Disease Prevention and Case Management

1

RESP 4341

Clinical Practicum III: Advanced Respiratory

3

RESP 4401

Clinical Practicum IV: Advanced Adult Respiratory Critical Care

1

RESP 4501

Research Project

1

Senior year: Spring semester (13 credits)

NumberCourseCredits

RESP 4342

Clinical Practicum V: Advanced Respiratory Care

3

RESP 4402

Clinical Practicum VI: Advanced Adult Respiratory Critical Care

2

RESP 4502

Research Project II

1

RESP 4602

Grand Rounds

2

HP 4802

Health Economics and Finance

3

 

HP 4902

Management and Leadership in Health Care

2

Grading or evaluation

As you move through the respiratory care rotations, you’ll be evaluated in each clinical area by the supervising therapists, the program director and the clinical supervisor. Clinical performance is evaluated using a competency-based evaluation system and performance appraisals.

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses these evaluative tools:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Mayo's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Graduation and certification

Students participate in an extensive exam review before the end of the junior and senior year. After successful completion of the senior-year course work, you’re eligible to complete the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) board examinations to get the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

When you successfully complete the Respiratory Care Program, you’ll receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Professions from the University of Minnesota Rochester and a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.