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Respiratory Care


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 and the only program in the state. Through programs like these, students learn the technical training needed to work in the field and are well-prepared to earn the credentials of a Certified and Registered Respiratory Therapist (CRT & RRT). 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 in an accredited associate degree Respiratory Therapy program. Students develop job skills that are needed to excel in the industry, such as critical thinking and communication skills. The program also exposes students to the historical, cultural, and social context of the profession. In addition, courses in research and contemporary health care issues expand the depth in the students’ applied health sciences knowledge base.   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. Graduates who have earned the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential can pursue 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, education, clinical specialties, and entrepreneurial opportunities for Respiratory Therapists. Career opportunities are available at hospital emergency rooms, pediatric units, intensive care units, surgical units, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, and more.  The average yearly salary range of a RRT credentialed Respiratory Therapist in Hawai‘i is approximately $60,000 to $75,000 per year. 


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.

PUBA 307 Community Health Analysis
This course examines health data, health information resources, and analytical techniques derived from epidemiology to improve the health of communities.

PUBA 411 Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness
This course will examine emergency management, planning, and response techniques. Emphasis will be placed on effective training and coordination of medical facility personnel, public and non-profit agencies, and the military to deal with a variety of man-made and natural events.


Students who have completed the AS in Respiratory Care at Kapiolani Community College are eligible to apply for admission to UH West O‘ahu’s Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree with concentration in Respiratory Care. The program 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.

See information for the AS in Respiratory Care program at Kapiolani Community College; for more information on the Kapi‘olani Community College program, contact:

Dr. Cheri Souza, Assistant Professor/Counselor (Kapi‘olani Community College)
(808) 734-9224


Dr. Ricardo Custodio, Associate Professor (UHWO)
(808) 689-2327