The prerequisites for the Respiratory Care Program are defined by GateWay Community College. You must successfully complete the required preprofessional and professional college course work before you are eligible to begin the respiratory care rotations at Mayo Clinic.

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Policies and Responsibilities
The following Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences' policies affect applications and admissions to its programs:

English fluency
Fluency in written and spoken English is essential to succeed in the program and to ensure patient safety. If English is a second language, you must be able to demonstrate fluency. Satisfactory performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language examination or the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency must be documented as proof of fluency. Your test results must be less than two years old.

Immunization record
For the protection of patients, students and employees, and in compliance with state regulations, Mayo Clinic requires students to be properly immunized. You must show proof of the following immunizations before you begin a program at Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences:

  • Tuberculin test in the past six months
  • Varicella, rubella and rubeola immunity
  • Up-to-date diphtheria and tetanus shots
  • Hepatitis B vaccination or signed declaration
  • Documentation of Varicella (chicken pox) status (prior disease or immunization)

Documentation of vaccinations must be provided to Mayo Employee Health Service prior to the start of class.

Student responsibilities
Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences' students are expected to attend all scheduled classes, examinations and assigned clinical rotations unless absence is approved.

Students are required to exhibit professional and ethical conduct at all times.

Equal opportunity
Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences upholds all federal and state laws that preclude discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or veteran's status.

Technical Standards
Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences accepts students who are highly qualified for its programs. To be considered for admittance you should exhibit strong qualifications for the health profession you wish to pursue. Applicants to programs must possess the following general qualities:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Sound judgment
  • Emotional stability and maturity
  • Empathy for others
  • Physical and mental stamina
  • Ability to learn and function in a variety of settings

Respiratory therapists generally work between 35 and 40 hours a week. Because hospitals operate around the clock, therapists may work evenings, nights, or weekends.

Respiratory therapists spend long periods standing and walking between patients' rooms. In an emergency, they work under a great deal of stress.

Gases used by respiratory therapists are stored under pressure and are potentially hazardous. However, adherence to safety precautions and regular maintenance and testing of equipment minimize the risk of injury. As in many other health occupations, respiratory therapists come in contact with patients who may have infectious diseases, but defined precautions minimize risks.

You must be able to perform the essential functions of the profession and meet the standards of the curriculum. Students seeking exceptions to these standards or reasonable accommodations should initiate their request with the program's director.