This course covers the drugs used in the treatment of cardiopulmonary diseases. Emphasis is placed on the uses, actions, indications, administration, and hazards of pharmacological agents. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence though written evaluations.

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the Respiratory Therapy program.

Corequisites: RCP 110, RCP 114

Class Hours: 2        Lab Hours: 0        Clinical/Work Exp.: 0        Credit Hours: 2


Topic: General Pharmacological Principals

  • Define key terms related to pharmacological principals.

  • Utilize drug reference sources of information.

  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages of different routes of administration.

  • Describe the processes of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, & elimination.

  • Explain differences in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and adverse effects of drugs in pediatric, geriatric, pregnant, and breast-feeding patients.

  • Discuss factors that may alter a patientís response to a drug.

  • Discuss principles of drug poisonings, adverse drug reactions, and interactions.

  • Discuss responsibilities in drug administration.

Topic: The Metric System and Drug Dosage Calculations

  • Define key terms relevant to drug dosage calculations.

  • Perform conversions of units of measurement within the Metric System.

  • Perform conversions between units of measurements in the Metric and English System.

  • Calculate strength of solutions in percentage and ratio forms.

  • Perform drug dosage calculations.

Topic: Pharmacology of the Autonomic Nervous System

  • Describe the divisions of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

  • Define key terms relative to pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system.

  • Describe the anatomy, neurotransmitters, and receptors of the autonomic nervous system.

  • State four classifications of autonomic nervous system drugs on the basis of how and where they work.

  • Relate the pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system to the specific categories and drug classifications that are relevant.

Topic: Medicated Aerosol Treatments

  • Define key terms related to aerosol therapy.

  • Describe the main goals of aerosol therapy.

  • State the advantages and disadvantages of the inhalation route of administration.

  • Describe the factors that affect aerosol deposition.

  • List advantages and limitations for using a metered dose inhaler (MDI), small volume nebulizer (SVN), and dry powder inhaler (DPI).

  • Describe the proper technique for using an MDI, SVN, and DPI.

Topic: Bronchodilators.

  • Describe the neurological control of the bronchial smooth muscle, including the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves, their chemical mediators, and how bronchodilation is achieved.

  • Differentiate bronchospasm and bronchoconstriction.

  • Describe three pharmacologic methods for bronchodilation and the mode of action for each.

  • State the indications, contraindications, adverse reactions, onset of action and dosage range for each bronchodilator.

  • Recommend appropriate bronchodilator therapy for various patient situations, including drug, dosage, frequency and route of delivery.

  • Describe appropriate techniques for monitoring the patientís response to bronchodilator therapy.

Topic: Mucokinetics and Surfactants.

  • Describe the production, function, and clearance of mucus in the healthy lung.

  • State the indications for bland aerosols and mucolytic agents.

  • Compare and contrast the mechanisms of action of bland aerosol and mucolytic agents.

  • Describe how surface tension relates to oxygenation and work of breathing.

  • Describe the role of surfactant in the lungs and surfactant replacement agents.

  • Describe the mechanisms of action of expectorants and antitussive agents.

Topic: Anti-Inflammatory and Antiasthmatic Agents

  • Describe the inflammatory process as it relates to airway disease.

  • List the chemical mediators involved in allergic reactions.

  • Discuss the physiology of corticosteroids.

  • Define hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, suppression, and steroid dependency

  • Describe the pharmacotherapy of oral, parenteral, and inhalational steroids.

  • Differentiate anti-inflammatory and antiasthmatic classes of medications available to treat asthma according to their mechanism of action and clinical usage.

Topic: Anti-infective Agents

  • Differentiate between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

  • Discuss implications of antimicrobial sensitivities and resistance patterns.

  • Understand basic concepts of anti-infective therapy.

  • Identify the basic classifications of antibiotic, antiviral, antitubercular, and antifungal drugs.

  • Describe the role of aerosol anti-infective agents that may be administered directly into the lungs.

Topic: Cardiac and Renal Agents

  • Define key terms related to cardiac and renal agents.

  • Relate cardiovascular physiology to pharmacological treatments.

  • Describe pharmacological effects of antiarrhythmics, inotropes, diuretics, and vasodilators.

  • Understand the role of pharmacological therapy for arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, and angina.

Topic: Blood Pressure and Antithrombotic Agents

  • Relate cardiovascular physiology to pharmacological treatments.

  • Understand the variables that affect blood pressure.

  • Describe indications and pharmacological effects of various antihypertensive agents.

  • Describe indications and pharmacological effects of anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, and thrombolytic agents.


A Excellent 4 Grade Points Numerical grade of 90 - 100
B Above Average 3 Grade Points Numerical grade of 80 - 89
C Average 2 Grade Points Numerical grade of 70 - 79
D Below Average 1 Grade Point Numerical grade of 60 - 69
F Failed 0 Grade Point Numerical below 60
WP Withdraw Passing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
census date and on or before the 60% point
of the course unless the instructor issues
a WF based on extenuating circumstances
WF Withdraw Failing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
60% point of the course or the instructor
chooses based on extenuating circumstances


Regular, prompt attendance is essential for academic success. Students should strive for perfect attendance. It is recognized, however, that students may be absent from class occasionally. Students should reference the instructor's syllabus to determine the attendance requirement for this course. The instructor is responsible for enforcing the attendance requirement. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the course. Students may complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center. Students may receive a grade of WP if they withdraw from a course by the 60% point/date of the course. Any student withdrawals that occur after the 60% point will result in a grade of WF. Exceptions to the "WF" grade may exist if the student has a mitigating circumstance. Students are encouraged to discuss withdrawal options with the faculty member and complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center.


If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact Frank Pait, Counselor for Students with Disabilities, at extension 4222, in the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) located on the first floor of the Cuyler A. Dunbar Building (CAD).

If you are a student with a mobility impairment and have a class in a multi-story building, please discuss evacuation plans with your instructor.


Students shall be permitted excused absences from all classes two days per academic year for religious observances required by their faith. The absences requested in accordance with this policy are "one of" and not "in addition to" any absences otherwise permitted by the faculty for a class. The excused absence request must be submitted by the second class meeting and a minimum of two (2) weeks in advance of the absence. Please contact your instructor for the required forms.


Students at CVCC are expected to be honest in all academic pursuits, whether class, lab, shop, or clinical. Acts of academic dishonesty are considered unethical and subject to behavior sanctions. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Sharing information about the content of quizzes, exams, classroom/lab/shop/clinical assignments (scheduled or make-up) without approval of the instructor including but not limited to unauthorized copying, collaboration, or use of notes, books, or other materials when preparing for or completing examinations or other academic assignments (scheduled or make-up).

2. Buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining a copy of a quiz, exams, project, term paper, or like document, without approval of the instructor.

3. Plagiarism, which is defined as the intentional representation of another person's work, words, thoughts, or ideas (from any source) as one's own.

4. Failing to follow approved test taking procedures by performing such acts as:
  • Looking on another student's test
  • Use of unauthorized notes; written, electronic, or otherwise
  • Changing answers after exam is scored
  • Verbal, non-verbal, or electronic communication with another student during an exam

Instructors have the authority to impose either a warning, probation, or dismissal from the class for acts of academic dishonesty relative to classes under their supervision.

Students have an obligation to report any acts of academic dishonesty to the instructor or appropriate campus authority when reasonable grounds exist for such a report. Students also have a responsibility to cooperate in the investigation of any alleged acts of academic dishonesty. Failure to report acts of academic dishonesty could result in a behavior sanction as outlined in the Student Conduct Policy, Policy 3.18


Reporting and Response to Sexual Violence, Sexual or Gender-based Harassment, and Other Sexual Misconduct

"Title IX Violations" is the term that will be used to include "sexual violence, sexual or gender-based harassment, and other sexual misconduct" and is explained further in Procedure 3.18.2. The Procedure can be found on the CVCC Website under About Us/Procedures.

Procedure 3.18.2 applies exclusively to Title IX Violations allegations. All other forms of harassment and/or discrimination are handled under Policy 3.18: Student Code of Conduct.

Students and/or employees are encouraged to report Title IX Violations in any of its forms, including, but not limited to, sexual or gender-based harassment, rape, sexual assault, other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, domestic or dating violence, or stalking, and CVCC supports this procedure for students and employees in compliance with Title IX legislation.

Any student who believes that he or she is being, or has been subjected to, Title IX Violations is encouraged to file a report of the alleged Title IX Violations promptly with the Title IX Coordinator, Dean for the School of Access, Development, and Success.


To Report a Serious Emergency Dial 911 from any campus phone or 911 from mobile phones; then dial 711 (Campus Safety & Security) from a campus phone.

For specific CVCC emergencies guidelines, please refer to the CVCC Emergency Guidebook


Quickly get all persons behind a locked door, close blinds, lock all windows/doors, and turn off lights. Sit against an interior wall away from windows and doors (hide). Keep cell phones ON in silent mode or vibrate. Do not leave the locked area until notified by a known CVCC administrator or by law enforcement that the emergency is over.

Seek Shelter (tornados, hurricanes, etc.)
Move to hallways and/or other inner rooms. Stay away from windows and doors. Sit on floor facing the inner wall and shield head with hands. Remain in shelter until notified by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel that the danger is over.

Building Evacuation
Leave the building immediately and proceed to a parking lot location at least 300 feet from the building. Do not delay to retrieve books or other personal items. Do not use elevators. Do not touch suspicious objects. Stay clear of the building once outside. Faculty should take class rosters if possible and account for all students at evacuation locations. Report any special assistance needed to CVCC faculty/staff or to emergency personnel. If you are aware or suspect someone is trapped in a threatened building, notify CVCC faculty/staff or emergency personnel. Remain at your building evacuation location until further instructions are provided by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel. In case of bomb threat, avoid using cell phones and wireless devices; this may detonate the bomb.

Smoke, Fire or Hazardous Materials
Activate the nearest fire alarm. Before attempting to fight a fire, notify someone nearby. Never attempt to fight a fire larger than wastebasket size. Close doors and windows to isolate the problem if the situation permits. If trapped in a building during a fire, use wet towels or cloths to protect you from flames and smoke. Stop/drop/roll if your clothes catch on fire. Do not open doors that feel hot. Always stay between the fire and an exit. Stay low to the floor as you try to exit.

Personal Emergencies
Unless you feel threatened, stay with the victim until emergency personnel arrive. Avoid contact with bodily fluids. Stay calm and try to minimize panic. If the person is conscious, ask if he/she is a High School student (if so, include this information in your 911 call).

Emergency Procedures Revised: April 4, 2012

Cell phone backup to 711 Campus Safety & Security:

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