The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1995 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

CALIFORNIA MANAGEMENT SURVEY REPORT ON THE ASSOCIATE DEGREE ENTRY LEVEL PRACTITIONER

Professional Advancement Sub-Committee - California Society for Respiratory Care, Tom Malinowski BS RRT RCP

Introduction The California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC) Professional Advancement Committee conducted a survey of Respiratory/Cardiopulmonary managers to gather opinions on present and future education/training requirements for RCP's in the state. The purpose of the survey was to validate the position of the state Board of Directors that the entry level practitioner requirements should be elevated to the AS degree level. This position was consistent with the strategic educational direction identified by the AARC Consensus Conference on Respiratory Care Education. Methods 505 surveys were mailed to RC department heads of acute care hospitals in California. Respondents were asked to indicate type of facility, bed size, percentage of one-year/two-year graduates, and hiring practices within the institution. In addition, respondents were asked to indicate their opinion on 7 questions related to 3 categories; respiratory care practice changes, departmental professional advancement practices, and entry level educational requirements within the state. Question #1) The scope of RC practice has expanded in the past 10 years, #2) The RCP is required to comprehend and master more information and skills now than 10 years ago, #3)Based on the scope of practice, the RCP of the future will become more independent and more effective as a consultant to other health professionals, #4) An AS in RC is preferred for professional advancement within your department, #5) One year technician programs should be expanded to AS degree programs, #6) The AS degree should become the minimum requirement for entry into RC practice in the state, and #7) Two year graduates are preferred over one-year graduates. A Likert scale of to 5 with 1 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = no opinion, 4 = disagree, 5 = strongly disagree was used for the questionnaire. Statistical analysis by t test was used in comparing responses (p < .05). Results There were 272 respondents for a return rate of 54%. 242 were from acute care facilities, 78 which had additional sub-acute units, and 82 with additional skilled nursing facility contracts. 6 respondents were stand alone sub-acute departments, and 6 were stand alone skilled nursing facilities. 78% of the respondents (208) were from facilities< 300 beds. Considerably more respondents selected the two positive responses (1 &2) than negative responses (4 & 5) for all questions. This relationship was statistically significant.

Question#1#2#3#4#5#6#7

#respondents 243 250 228 222 212 202 196

choosing 1 & 2

Cumulative91% 94% 86% 75% 79% 74% 76%

pos. response

Cumulative8%5%8% 17% 13% 21% 18%

neg. response

Conclusions A clear majority of surveyed respiratory care managers in the state of California believe: 1) The scope of practice and information required for practice in the state has increased. 2) That graduates from two year programs are preferred for hiring and promotion within the respective institutions. 3) Two year AS degree programs should be the minimum entry level for respiratory care practice in the state of California.

OF-95-163

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