Mountain Empire Community College
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Respiratory Therapy

Name E-mail Phone Number
Wes Mullins 276-523-2400, ext. 277
Roger Thompson 276-523-2400, ext. 302
Respiratory Therapists are members of the health care team that provides respiratory care for patients with heart and lung disorders. Respiratory Therapists perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures with patients of all ages and are qualified to perform intensive care, critical care, neonatal and emergency room procedures.


MECC’s Respiratory Therapy graduates are prepared for the National Board for Respiratory Care Examinations:
  • Entry-Level Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
MECC’s Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Employers want Respiratory Therapists who:

  • Are skilled and knowledgeable in classroom theory and clinical procedures of respiratory therapy.
  • Have excellent communication skills.
  • Have excellent interpersonal and team skills.
  • Have excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
  • Have manual dexterity.
  • Can give and receive constructive criticism.


In 2008, national average annual earnings were $53,150 and Virginia had an average annual earnings of $53,290.

Employment Outlook

The need for respiratory therapy professionals is expected to grow in the coming years due to:
  • The large increase in the elderly population.
  • The impact of environmental problems that have already contributed to the yearly rise in the number of reported asthma cases.
  • Technological advances in the treatment of heart attack, cancer, and accident victims, as well as premature babies.
Employment opportunities exist in home care, rehabilitation
agencies, nursing homes, emergency transport teams,
sleep centers, pulmonary function laboratories, outpatient
clinics and physician offices.


Respiratory Therapists may advance into departmental supervision and hospital management.

Student Spotlight

Luke Mullins Samuel “Luke” Mullins graduated from MECC’s Respiratory Therapy program in December, 2006. He is currently employed as a Registered Respiratory Therapist, RRT, at Norton Community Hospital and is continuing his education at ETSU to receive his bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy.

You will find other MECC graduates at:

Carilion New River Valley Hospital, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Medical Center, Health South,
Lee County Community Hospital, MSHA Indian Path Hospital, MSHA Johnson City Medical Center, Mountain View Regional Medical Center, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Vanderbilt University Hospital, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Wellmont Lonesome Pine Hospital, Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center, Wellmont Holston Valley Hospital & Medical Center
Students learn to insert
endotracheal tubes in a lab
environment prior to experience
in a clinical setting.
Respiratory Therapy students need a solid background in anatomy and physiology.

Updated August 26, 2011                                      Contact MECC                                      MECC Home