University of Hawaiʻi — West Oʻahu

Respiratory Care


This program is currently under review based on institutional mission and strategic plan.

        For more information please contact 
the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

(808) 689-2300


Respiratory care involves the treatment of those with asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiolitis, lung injury, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory-related ailments. Those trained in the field evaluate, treat, monitor and aid in the prevention of many breathing disorders.

Kapi‘olani Community College is one of many accredited two-year Respiratory Therapy programs across the nation. Through programs like these, students learn the technical training needed to work in the field and are well-prepared to earn certification as Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRT). UH West O‘ahu’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree, with a concentration in Respiratory Care, is designed to supplement the technical training that a student receives at an accredited Respiratory Therapy program. Students develop job skills that are needed to excel in the industry, such as critical thinking and communication skills. The bachelor’s program also exposes students to the historical, cultural, and social context of the profession. UH West O‘ahu courses are delivered both in-class and through distance learning instruction.


Respiratory Care graduates are found in a variety of work settings in the health care industry including laboratories, corporations, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and patients’ homes. In addition to earning a CRT, graduates often seek additional credentials such as becoming a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or specializing in pulmonary function testing, neonatal-pediatrics, or earning higher-level degrees including a UH West O‘ahu Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

UH West O‘ahu’s bachelor’s degree program opens the door to a variety of management positions and entrepreneurial ventures for respiratory care therapists. Career opportunities are available at hospital emergency rooms, pediatric units, intensive care units, surgical units, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, and more. In 2007, the average yearly salary of a respiratory care therapist in Hawai‘i was $60,300, over $10,000 more than the national average.


PUBA 301 Health Care Administration
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of health care management. Roles, functions and skills of health care managers necessary for the continuously changing health care environment are emphasized.

PUBA 302 Health Policy, Politics, and Law
This course examines the role of the federal government in health care; the formation of policy for the health care sector; health care interest groups; as well as political and legal issues for the administration of health care organizations.

RESP 401 Case Management in Cardiopulmonary Care
This course is an overview of managed care and significant trends in health care policy. The course material covers theoretical concepts of case management, the history and process of case management and how it links to the practice of cardiopulmonary care. It examines various case management models and roles, and their application in specialty roles and team models. The course studies local and national trends in various healthcare settings (acute care, community health, sub-acute, managed care organizations) and the implementation of case management models for the care of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders.

RESP 402 Current Concepts in Cardiopulmonary Care
This course is a review and analysis of current trends and concepts in the management of patients with cardiovascular, pulmonary, and sleep-associated disorders. The course material covers the evidence and protocol-based approaches to management of significant complex diseases and conditions such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome/Acute Lung Injury, pulmonary tuberculosis, pulmonary hypertension and associated cardiac disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, biological epidemics, and asthma management. Students will examine model practice guidelines and pathways, identify and evaluate research findings, and discuss methods for implementing best-practice models in the modern healthcare system.


Students who submit verification from the National Board for Respiratory Care demonstrating current certification as a Certified Respiratory Therapist and/or Registered Respiratory Therapist are eligible to apply for admission to UH West O‘ahu’s bachelor’s degree program. The program also serves as a transfer pathway for students in the Respiratory Care Program at Kapi‘olani Community College or similar programs throughout the nation. Historically, two-year technical degrees have not been readily transferable to four-year campuses. This unique partnership allows progress to the next level both academically and professionally.


Dr. Kristina Guo, Professor
(808) 689-2361