2011 News Articles
Benedictine, Rush University partner to offer Clinical Life Science major

Benedictine, Rush University partner to offer Clinical Life Science major
February 22, 2011

Phil Brozynski
(630) 829-6094

Lisle, Illinois ~ Employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow 23 percent through 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary is more than $58,000 per year.

Respiratory therapy is just one of the exciting careers available to students who major in the new bachelor of science program in Clinical Life Science at Benedictine University.

The Clinical Life Science major is the newest undergraduate academic program offered by Benedictine University. Students who major in Clinical Life Science follow a three-year sequence of liberal arts and science courses. During their junior year, they can apply to Rush University's master of science program.

Successful completion of the entire 3+2 program (three years at Benedictine, two years at Rush) results in a bachelor of arts degree in Clinical Life Science from Benedictine University and a master of science degree in either Respiratory Therapy or Perfusion Technology from Rush University.

Respiratory therapists provide care for a diverse patient population, from newborns and children to adults and the elderly, with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system resulting from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, heart attack, infant respiratory distress, pneumonia, postoperative surgical complications, shock, stroke and trauma.

Respiratory therapists perform patient assessment, care plan development and respiratory care protocol administration; critical care, including airway care, ventilatory support, physiologic monitoring and advanced life support; perinatal and pediatric respiratory care; cardiopulmonary diagnostics and pulmonary function testing; and patient education.

Perfusionists are highly-skilled professionals who operate life-support equipment such as heart-lung machines, intra-aortic balloon pumps and ventricular assist devices during open heart surgery. Integral members of the cardiovascular surgical team, perfusionists are present in the operating room when it is necessary to support or replace a patient's cardiopulmonary and circulatory functions.

Perfusionists also provide services for venovenous bypass for liver transplantation; isolated limb or organ chemotherapy perfusion; cardiopulmonary bypass-supported cardiac catheterization procedures; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; and blood salvaging for orthopedic or general surgery procedures.

The program provides students with hands-on experience at top-tier academic medical centers in Chicago and preparation for entry-level and advanced exams. Students also experience Rush's innovative practitioner-teacher model in which faculty assume multiple roles as educators, researchers and practitioners.

For more information about the new major in Clinical Life Science, contact the Benedictine University Enrollment Center at (630) 829-6300 or by e-mail at admissions@ben.edu. For more information about Rush University's master's programs, visit www.rushu.rush.edu/respiratorycare or www.rushu.rush.edu/perfusion.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 53 undergraduate majors, 13 graduate and four doctorate programs. Benedictine University is ranked as a Top School in the Midwest (11th in Illinois) for Master's Universities, 12th in the Midwest (and sixth in Illinois) for Racial Diversity, and eighth in Illinois for Freshmen Retention for 2011 by U.S. News & World Report.