Tidewater Community College’s respiratory therapy program is a recipient of the 2015 Registered Respiratory Therapy Distinguished Credentialing Success Award.

Only 78 of the 427 accredited respiratory therapy programs in the nation earned this distinction from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

TCC offers one of eight respiratory therapy programs in the state. Five are associate degree programs and three are bachelor’s.

“With the generous resources provided by TCC, our program is second to none,” said Denise Bieszczad, program head for respiratory therapy at the college. “We are proud to report that we have the highest pass rates on national examinations of any school in Virginia, even those programs offering bachelor’s degrees.”

She attributes the program’s success to several factors, including the opening of the Regional Health Professions Center on the Virginia Beach Campus. The state-of-the-art facility offers a high-fidelity simulation laboratory that allows faculty to provide students with the most authentic educational experience.

The college also partners with all major area health care providers to offer clinical rotations for students.

“Because of this exposure, our students get to observe respiratory care practitioners developing health care plans and evaluating therapies using critical thinking,” Bieszczad said. “They see firsthand the real-world benefits of working as a team to solve life-threatening clinical problems every day.”

Award winners must have three or more years of outcomes data; hold accreditation without a progress report; document registered respiratory therapy credentialing success of 90 percent or above; and meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for certified respiratory therapist credentialing success, attrition and job placement.

TCC will receive a certificate of recognition during the American Association for Respiratory Care summer forum on June 26.

For more information about the college’s respiratory therapy program, contact Bieszczad at 757-822-7412 or dbieszczad@tcc.edu.