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Registered Respiratory Therapist


100 Questions & Answers (PDF Format)

To be a Registered Respiratory Therapist or RRT means that you have passed two examinations that measure your skills, abilities, and knowledge essential for advanced respiratory therapists. This credential, once earned, is recognized nationally as the stand of excellence for professionals in this field.

The first exam is the Therapist Multiple-Choice Exam or TMC. Before January of 2015 it was known as the Therapist Written Registry Exam. This exam evaluates the entry level abilities required of respiratory therapists. If you pass this exam with a high cut score you can move on to the next one, which is the CSE or Clinical Simulation Exam.

Who is Eligible?

Those who wish to take the TMC must be one of the following:

  • At least 18 years old and have at least an associate’s degree from an advanced level respiratory therapy education program supported or accredited by CoARC
  • A CRT for at least four years with at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a regionally accredited institution. These 62 hours must include a course in:
    • Anatomy and physiology
    • Chemistry
    • Microbiology
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
  • A CRT for at least two years and has at least an associate’s degree from an accredited entry-level respiratory care education program
  • A CRT for at least two years and has a bachelor’s degree in an area other than respiratory care with at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a regionally accredited institution. These hours must include a course in:
    • Anatomy and physiology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Microbiology
    • Physics
  • An RRT credential from the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists

The TMC exam costs $190 for new applicants. You will have three years after you pass the TMC to earn RRT credential. During that time, you must take the CSE.

To qualify for the CSE you must be one of the following:

  • A CRT and have completed the Therapist Written Exam on or before December 31, 2014
  • A CRT and have completed the TMC exam on or after January 1, 2015

The CSE fee is $200.

When and Where is it Taken?

Once your application has been approved you will receive an eligibility email. This will contain instructions to schedule your exam. All TMC exams are taken through PSI testing centers.

These can be scheduled Monday to Saturday year-round at one of nearly 300 testing sites country-wide.

What Should I Bring?

You must bring two valid forms of identification with you to sign in. These should include your correct name, signature, and one with a photo.

The exams are delivered via computer. This means any personal items are not needed. This includes calculators, pencils, food and drink, and electronic devices. These will not be permitted in the testing area unless otherwise instructed in your certificate handbook.

What is Covered?

The TMC exam consists of 140 multiple choice questions. You are given a total of three hours to complete it.

  • Patient Data Evaluation and Recommendations
    • Evaluate data in the patient record
    • Gather clinical information
    • Perform procedures to gather clinical information
    • Evaluate procedure results
    • Recommend diagnostic procedures
  • Troubleshooting and Quality Control of Equipment and Infection Control
    • Assemble and troubleshoot equipment
    • Ensure infection control
    • Perform quality control procedures
  • Initiation and Modification of Interventions
    • Maintain a patient airway including the care of artificial airways
    • Perform airway clearance and lung expansion techniques
    • Support oxygenation and ventilation
    • Administer medications and specialty gases
    • Ensure modifications are made to respiratory care plan
    • Utilize evidence-based medicine principles
    • Provide respiratory care techniques in high risk situations
    • Assist a physician in performing procedures
    • Initiate and conduct patient and family education

How is it Scored?

Scores are given to you immediately after you complete the exam at the testing center. You can earn one of two cut scores. The low cut score earns the CRT credential. The high cut score earns the CRT credential and eligibility to take the CSE. If you do not make either cut you must reapply to take it again.

Your official credentials will be mailed to shortly after you have passed your exam, along with instructions as to your next step.