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According to a data report published by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, Ohio State’s Respiratory Therapy program in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is the only program in the nation to receive perfect scores.

There is no official national ranking system for respiratory therapy academic programs, but Ohio State can still claim best in the nation on the criteria measured by the commission.

For the most recent reporting period, 2008-2010, the program graduated 57 students and with a 100 % graduation rate, 100 percent job placement, 100 percent on Certified Respiratory Therapist and Registered Respiratory Therapist examination success.

This data is self-reported by respiratory care programs to CoARC.

“We attribute a lot of our success to the fact that we have an excellent relationship with OSU Medical Center. The combination of our prescreening for admission and the access we have to world-class medical center on our campus is what makes the program successful,” said Sarah Varekojis, faculty member and director of clinical education.

Admission to OSU’s respiratory therapy program is competitive, and requires that students complete two years of science and math prerequisites before applying.

“I wanted to work one on one with people, and was drawn to respiratory therapy because it is a very focused major but you can do more with the degree itself than I realized when I first began,“ said Casey Leisenheimer, a third-year in respiratory therapy.

The two-year program consists of 22 students in each year, for a total of 44 students at any given time.

“We get priority placement at the medical center since there is a small student-to-teacher ratio. It’s an intimate environment,” said Mel DeMiglio, a third-year in respiratory therapy.

Upon completion from the program, the students complete around 1,000 hours of clinical work.

“Its different reading a book in class than actually getting hands on experience. We can directly apply what we’re learning in class to the patients,” Leisenhemer said.

Unlike many other programs, the faculty members of respiratory therapy will not be altering the curriculum much to accommodate for semesters.

“We protect our reputation pretty strongly. We make sure to prepare our students in the classroom before sending them out for the clinical experience. As for semesters, we worked hard to make sure that the curriculum was duplicated well for the new schedule so that we can ensure the same positive outcome,” Varekois said.

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