Mandatory requirements

Applicants for this program are required to complete the School of Health and Public Safety entrance testing process as an admission requirement for this program by the set deadlines. Review admission requirements for more details.

Overview

Respiratory Therapy is a diverse and specialized profession that assists physicians in diagnosing, treating and managing patients by providing such services as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ventilator management, oxygen and aerosol therapy, patient assessment and evaluation, and diagnostic services, including pulmonary function testing and blood analysis.

Since 1970, SAIT has provided students with the right combination of leading-edge theory and hands-on practice to succeed. As trained Respiratory Therapists, our instructors are well-equipped to offer the latest insights into new technology and best practices in the field.

This comprehensive program features classroom study, lab and clinical simulation, and practicum rotations in acute and community care facilities. In addition to training in SAIT’s Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation lab, a high-fidelity human patient simulator that physiologically responds to medical treatment, you'll complete practicum rotations in adult, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, the emergency department, anesthesia, wards, home care, pulmonary function and blood gas labs.

You'll also learn several skills by practicing with your classmates taking turns acting as the patient or the Respiratory Therapist. All skills are performed in a safe setting and supervised.

You'll experience success in this program and profession by developing the following traits, skills and aptitudes:

  • fine motor skills
  • critical thinking and adaptability
  • effective communication skills (speaking, reading, writing, and listening)
  • ability to work independently
  • actively participate in classroom, lab, and practicum activities as scheduled by the program
  • ability to work well under stress, maintain professional behaviour and emotionally self-regulate
  • ability to use technology
  • attention to detail
  • can wear Personal Protective Equipment for extended periods, tolerate latex and disinfection chemicals
  • willing to work extended hours, including nights and/or weekends and shift work
  • ability to tolerate the sight of human blood and tissue
  • ability to assist in transporting, lifting, and positioning patients and/or equipment and meet the physical demands of the job (for example, spending most hours working on your feet, walking, bending, and other repetitive tasks)
  • comfortable with performing patient care procedures which may be sensitive or performed in close proximity.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to the ALIS website for career, learning, and employment information for Respiratory Therapy and the National Competency Framework for the profession to ensure you understand the skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives for the program and profession.

The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.

There may also be opportunities to further your education by transferring to another institution once you graduate.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

You'll complete practicum rotations in adult, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, the emergency department, anesthesia, wards, home care, pulmonary function and blood gas labs.

Practicums will include shifts during weekdays, weekends, evenings or overnight hours. During the program's third-year practicum rotations, you'll spend most of your time in the workplace but return to campus for one to two weeks for classroom learning activities.

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practicum partners in Alberta and Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited, and you may be required to travel or relocate outside the city.

Successful applicants will be assigned their practicum placement. While we'll strive to assign your practicum location based on your preference, it is not guaranteed. Special considerations will not be given. You will be responsible for fees associated with the practicum, such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs.

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, you will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course (no later than Sept. 30) 
  • Updated immunization records (no later than Sept. 30)
  • Police information check
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • Health and wellness status
  • Completion of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program offered by the Canadian Pediatric Society. Proof must be submitted to the program administration assistant before semester five. The certification must be valid for the entire practicum year.

You must return to SAIT campus for one week each semester of the program's third year, regardless of where they are placed for practicum.

Learn more about practicum requirements >

SAIT offers reserved seats in respiratory therapy for applicants currently living in Saskatchewan. 

Graduates must successfully challenge the Canadian Board of Respiratory Care (CBRC) examination to earn the right to practice Respiratory Therapy in Canada. To work in Alberta, you must join the College of Respiratory Therapists of Alberta (CRTA) and pay the membership fee.

If English is an additional language, you must also provide proof of meeting a benchmark score of nine in all of the Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment’s categories.

If you wish to work outside Alberta, you must be registered with that province’s provincial regulatory body for respiratory therapy.  All graduates may become members of the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) by paying the membership fee, which is required in an unregulated province.

Once you become a member of a professional organization, you may register with the CBRC by paying the national examination fee, allowing you to challenge the national exam.

The Respiratory Therapy program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada.

We work closely with our Advisory Committee to ensure our curriculum continues to exceed provincial and national accreditation standards.

Upon completing this program, graduates will be awarded a SAIT Respiratory Therapy diploma.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 100% graduate employment rate

salary icon $78,000 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 32102, 32103, 32109, 32123.

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Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops

Courses

The Respiratory Therapy diploma requires 96 credits (27 courses) to complete.

The program spans three years, with two semesters in the first and second year, and three semesters in the third year.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

Core concepts vital to respiratory care practice are explored, including medical terminology, infection control, occupational health and safety, computer skills and an introduction to medical research.

Pre-requisites:
  • RESP 212
  • RESP 214
  • RESP 216
  • RESP 218
3

The main respiratory pathologies encountered by respiratory therapists are addressed with an emphasis on obstructive and restrictive disorders as well as the pharmacological interventions used in disease management.

Pre-requisites:
  • HLTH 201
  • RESP 212
  • RESP 214
  • RESP 216
  • RESP 218
3

Pathophysiology 2 presents the main non-respiratory pathologies encountered by respiratory therapists as well as pathologies relevant for neonatal and pediatric care. Each pathology is investigated with emphasis on the pathophysiology and clinical management of these disorders and the pharmacological treatments used in their management.

3

A case-based approach to pathophysiology challenges the learner to apply and integrate knowledge from previous courses to realistic clinical cases with complex presentations.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 311
  • RESP 315
  • RESP 317
  • RESP 319
1.5

In this course, patient management skills and clinical competency are developed during a hands-on clinical practicum where learners are engaged in managing real-life situations, under the guidance of a preceptor. Learners are expected to demonstrate professionalism, effective communication, and critical-thinking skills in all practice areas. A focus is placed on reflective practice and continuous self-improvement.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 312
  • RESP 314
  • RESP 327
  • RESP 329
  • RESP 330
Corequsites:
  • RESP 340
6

In this course, patient management skills and clinical competency are applied during a hands-on clinical practicum where learners use their knowledge, skills, and attitudes to manage real-life situations under the guidance of a preceptor. Learners are expected to demonstrate professionalism, effective communication, and critical-thinking skills in all practice areas. Focus is also placed on reflective practice and continuous self-improvement.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 312
  • RESP 340
  • RESP 342
Corequsites:
  • RESP 350
6

In this course, patient management skills and clinical competency are modeled during a hands-on clinical practicum where learners use their knowledge, skills, and attitudes to manage real-life situations to a competent level, under the guidance of a preceptor. Learners are expected to demonstrate professionalism, effective communication, and critical-thinking skills in all practice areas. Focus is also placed on reflective practice and continuous self-improvement.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 314
  • RESP 350
  • RESP 352
Corequsites:
  • RESP 370
6

The anatomy and physiology of the human body is explored with an emphasis on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Foundational principles are introduced regarding pathology and how structure and function can be affected by disease.

Pre-requisites:
  • HLTH 201
  • RESP 214
  • RESP 216
  • RESP 218
3

Learners will be provided with the opportunity to develop foundational patient assessment skills for lower-acuity patients by using an integrated approach of classroom and lab. Focus will be placed on a complete evaluation of a respiratory patient including interviewing, vital signs, respiratory assessment, basic diagnostics and documentation.

3

This first of four clinical practice courses is designed to guide learners through the practicum experience and clinical practice. The history and background of the profession of respiratory therapy will be discussed. An introduction will also be provided on learning strategies, ethics, conflict management, professionalism and the preceptor model of education. A case-based exam and evaluative clinical scenario will be completed at the end of the course.

3

Through lab and classroom learning, the fundamentals of chemistry and physics are applied to the field of respiratory care with an emphasis on medical gases, humidity and aerosol therapy as well as oxygen therapy, sources and delivery systems.

Pre-requisites:
  • HLTH 201
  • RESP 212
  • RESP 214
  • RESP 216
3

Through a combination of lab and classroom learning, basic respiratory therapy patient assessment techniques are introduced and include hemodynamic monitoring, monitoring of other body systems and advanced diagnostics such as arterial blood gases and non-invasive respiratory monitoring. Focus will be on the overall assessment of a moderate- to high-acuity patient.

Pre-requisites:
  • HLTH 201
  • RESP 212
  • RESP 214
  • RESP 216
  • RESP 218
3

Learners will be guided through the practicum experience and prepared for clinical practice in this second of four clinical practice courses which involves classroom instruction and clinical simulation. Topics include the history of respiratory therapy, ethical issues, death and dying, adverse medical events and conflict resolution. A case-based exam and evaluative clinical scenario will be completed at the end of the course.

Pre-requisites:
  • HLTH 201
  • RESP 212
  • RESP 214
  • RESP 216
  • RESP 218
3

Lab-based learning and classroom theory are blended to introduce foundational knowledge and skills in basic patient interventions, including airway management, bronchopulmonary hygiene, medication administration and mechanical ventilation of the adult patient. Emphasis is placed on integration of safe practices, infection control principles and critical thinking into the performance of patient interventions.

Pre-requisites:
  • HLTH 201
  • RESP 212
  • RESP 214
  • RESP 216
  • RESP 218
6

In Anesthesia, concepts regarding the fundamentals of anesthetic procedures, pharmacology, equipment and patient safety and the role of the respiratory therapist in the operating room are examined.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 311
  • RESP 315
  • RESP 317
  • RESP 319
1.5

Patient Assessment 3 is a combination of practical and classroom learning where learners expand their patient evaluation skills to include advanced assessment on neonatal, pediatric and adult patient populations. Learners will be challenged to fully assess all patient populations, at all levels of acuity, including end-of-life scenarios.

3

RT Clinical Practice 3 is the third of four clinical practice courses which prepares learners for clinical practice. Topics include working within an interdisciplinary team, leadership skills, crisis management and the role of reflection and self-assessment. There is also a neonatal resuscitation component which focuses on assessments and interventions.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 254
  • RESP 262
  • RESP 264
  • RESP 266
3

Lab-based learning and classroom theory are blended to provide opportunities for developing knowledge and skills in patient interventions including airway management, ventilator management and other patient care procedures. Background skills and knowledge are expanded to all patient populations with continued emphasis on safe patient care, infection control practices and critical thinking.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 254
  • RESP 262
  • RESP 264
6

Concepts of pulmonary diagnostic procedures, pulmonary rehabilitation, community care, discharge planning and smoking cessation will be highlighted through a blend of lab and classroom learning. The lab has a large focus on the performance of pulmonary function testing and interacting with patients.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 311
  • RESP 315
  • RESP 317
  • RESP 319
3

RT Clinical Practice 4 is the final of four courses in which the learner is increasingly prepared for a supervised clinical experience. Classroom instruction and simulation are used to emphasize an evidence-based approach to patient care, patient-centered care and preceptor and debriefing skills. The course culminates with a case-based exam and evaluative clinical scenario.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 311
  • RESP 315
  • RESP 317
  • RESP 319
3

Lab-based learning and classroom theory are blended to further advance knowledge and skills in the management of critically ill and unstable patients. Advanced mechanical ventilation strategies including high-frequency ventilation, advanced airway techniques, difficult airway management and higher level patient care procedures are explored.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 311
  • RESP 315
  • RESP 317
  • RESP 319
6

Using individualized learning packages designed to support specific semester five clinical rotations, the learner re-examines previous content and applies it to his/her practice. Each package provides a variety of assessments, tools and resources to assist in the transition of classroom knowledge into clinical proficiency.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 312
  • RESP 314
  • RESP 327
  • RESP 329
  • RESP 330
Corequsites:
  • PRCT 312
3

Practicum Foundations 1 combines on-line and intense on-campus preparation for the first of three practicum placements. Learners will apply foundational skills and theory in clinical simulation and laboratory environments. This course culminates with the creation of individualized learning plans designed to ensure success during practicum.

Pre-requisites:
  • PATH 312
  • RESP 314
  • RESP 327
  • RESP 329
  • RESP 330
3

In RT Clinical Theory 2, learners use individualized learning packages designed to support specific clinical rotations which helps them re-examine previous content and apply it to their semester six practice. Each package provides a variety of assessments, tools and resources to assist in the transition of classroom knowledge into clinical proficiency.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 312
  • RESP 340
  • RESP 342
Corequsites:
  • PRCT 314
3

Practicum Foundations 2 combines on-line and intense on-campus preparation for the second of three practicum placements. Focus will be placed upon current trends in respiratory care, pediatric and neonatal care and the refining of foundational skills in clinical simulation and laboratory environments. Attention will also be placed on the modification of individualized learning plans designed to enhance personal practice.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 312
  • RESP 340
  • RESP 342
3

In RT Clinical Theory 3, learners use individualized learning packages designed to support specific clinical rotations which help them re-examine and apply material covered to-date to their semester seven practice. Each package provides a variety of assessments, tools and resources to assist in the transition of classroom knowledge into clinical practice.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 314
  • RESP 350
  • RESP 352
Corequsites:
  • PRCT 316
3

Entry to Professional Practice is designed to prepare learners for the national credentialing exam and employment. Exam results are used to refine individualized learning plans to ensure continued success in the field of respiratory therapy. The culmination of this course will involve a major project and a comprehensive exam.

Pre-requisites:
  • PRCT 314
  • RESP 350
  • RESP 352
3

Progression

Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • at least 70% in Math 30-1, or at least 75% in Math 30-2,
  • at least 70% in English Language Arts 30-1,
  • at least 70% in Chemistry 30,
  • at least 70% in Biology 30.

Applicants must also score at least 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety's entrance testing process.

If you intend to work in Alberta after graduation and your first language is not English, you will need to meet the English language requirements of the College of Respiratory Therapists of Alberta (CRTA).

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: Feb. 29, 2024
Saskatchewan students:: Open
  • Application deadline: May 31, 2024

Costs

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $4,530 $1,570 $6,100
2 2 $4,530 $1,570 $6,100
3 3 $5,436 $1,716 $7,146
Total cost:
$19,346

Books and supplies are approximately $2,500 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term. 

Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum, including pre-practicum requirements outlined by the program and relocation costs to practicum sites outside of Calgary.

Required equipment/tools

The clinical practicum experience includes rotations through adult intensive care, neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care, home care, surgical suites, and wards. You will be evaluated on your competency performance during practicum using a tracking system called CompTracker.

You will require a wifi-enabled Apple tablet that can run the most up-to-date operating system to support the CompTracker system. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker.

There is a required $75 user license fee billed each year for the program's first two years, and a $75 fee per semester in the third year. 

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

You will need your uniform for orientation day, the first day of classes, so order your uniform early. You are expected to wear scrubs for your simulated labs, including the Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation and clinical experience.

in-rt-uniforms-600x590.jpg

These scrubs can be purchased at:

Universal Workwear
Bay 11, 2135-32nd Ave NE
Calgary, AB T2E 6Z3
Tel: 403.717.3780
Toll-free: 1.866.442.7303

A stethoscope is part of your uniform and is available at Universal Workwear.  Stethoscopes need to be brought to all patient assessment labs and simulation labs.

You'll also be required to purchase Lab Supply Kits in semester one before attending your labs. Purchase these at the SAIT Bookstore (which processes the payment) and then bring your receipt to room NR105 in the Senator Burns building where you will be given the lab kit once proof of purchase is confirmed.

Students outside of Calgary

If students live outside of the Calgary area, they have two options to consider regarding the purchase of their uniform to have it for orientation and the first day of classes.

  • Wait until you move to Calgary to order your uniform in person so that you can try on the tops before your name is embroidered and SAIT crest is added. If you choose this option, please allow yourself at least two to three days for Universal Workwear to have it ready for pick-up, as you must wear your uniform to Orientation.
  • Find a local scrub provider who carries the MOBB brand of scrubs, and try them on for fit. Then, please place your order by calling Universal Workwear at 1.866.442.7303 (toll-free) so they may have your uniform ready for you once you arrive in Calgary. If you use this option, then please take some time to review the photo of your uniform to know what to look for. The following styles for tops are the only accepted styles:
    • Ladies: T3030 or 308T
    • Mens: T4010 or 301T

Additional fees

  • College of Respiratory Therapists of Alberta (CRTA) annual dues are approximately $425.
  • Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) annual dues are approximately $100 for students and $180 for regular members.
  • The Canadian Board of Respiratory Care (CBRC) exam fee is approximately $900.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a police information check, including a Vulnerable Sector Check and it is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP.)
  • You must have your immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
  • A fee of approximately $50 – $100 is associated with an Electronic Student Permit Checking submission required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the Verified software platform.
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Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more

Application process

Applicants must meet or exceed a score of 50% in the School of Health and Public Safety entrance testing process as an admission requirement for this program by the set deadlines. 

These deadlines may be different than the typical application closing dates.

🚨 Saskatchewan applicants are not required to complete entrance testing for the Fall 2024 intake.

Learn more about the entrance testing process >

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 

We recommend you add hps.info@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School of Health and Public Safety Advising

Phone
403.284.8500
Email
hps.info@sait.ca