The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1995 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

NICOTINE INTERVENTION IN THE CURRICULA OF RESPIRATORY CARE PROGRAMS.

Dunlevy CL, EdD, RRT, Male N. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH.

Introduction: As Respiratory Care (RC) educational programs prepare for the 21st century, they need to be responsive to the current health care agenda, which places greater emphasis than ever before on health promotion. Because Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) devote a great deal of time to the care of patients with smoking-related diseases, it would seem logical that RC programs prepare graduates to perform nicotine intervention. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which RC programs include nicotine intervention in their curricula.

Methods: 142 RC programs were randomly selected from the 1994 JRCRTE therapist program list to participate in the study. Subjects were asked to complete a 25-item questionnaire that included information about various aspects of nicotine addiction/intervention including physiology, incidence, various methods of smoking cessation, signs/symptoms of withdrawal, and coping mechanisms. The questionnaire also asked for demographic information concerning RC program level, hrs. devoted to this topic, etc. Percentages for each item were calculated.

Results: 103 questionnaires were returned (73%). 74% of the RC programs surveyed included nicotine intervention in their curricula to some degree (a mean of 3.1 classroom hours;ə lab hour; 1.75 clinical hours). Topics most often included were those pertaining to incidence and physiologic effects of smoking. Less than 25% of respondents reported that they include information about recognizing withdrawal symptoms, determining level of addiciton, readiness to quit, developing a nicotine intervention program, or coping strategies for the abstinent smoker. Discussion: In order to produce RC graduates who are able to function effectively in a competetive healthcare environment, education programs need to include a comprehensive study of nicotine intervention in their curricula.

OF-95-227

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