The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Guillermo Friederichsen, RRT and Marvin Weiss, MD. Kaiser Permanente Hospital, San Diego, California

Background: We report on a simple way to provide inservice training to employees in our Respiratory Care department. With budgetary cutbacks facing us on one side and the need to comply with Human Resources Standards of the Joint Commission on the other, we decided to augment our skills checklists and inservice training with computer aided tutorials using an educational software program for the Macintosh. Version 2.0.1 of the Digittal chisel (r) (by Pierian Spring Software, Portland, OR), is an easy-to-use multimedia authoring tool specifically designed for educators and students. There is no need to learn a programming language and it comes with a built-in database that automatically scores and records the answers. Most important it is easy to use and comes with many templates to cut down on development time. Criteria for choosing tutorials were linked to tasks or equipment with low utilization or infrequent usage. Members are required to use the tutorials annually and pass with a score of 90%. Evaluation: Three tutorials were developed and put on a Macintosh in the department. Access to the computer was limited to the tutorials. Two of the tutorials were on equipment recently purchased and with limited-use potential (the Impact Transport Ventilator and the Proneb Home Nebulizer system). The last tutorial was on Continuous Bronchodilator Therapy (CBT) which has the highest utilization during the winter months. Employees were asked to arrange coverage with the shift supervisor while they used the tutorials. They had access to the tutorials 24 hours/day. The program has the capability to run video and can handle digitilized images. For the impact Transport Ventilator tutorial, images of the front panel and each of the controls were scanned and then linked to text so that the employee can simply choose any control and have all of its characteristics displayed. Some animation was used to show gas flow through the ventilator. Another tutorial in development is on 4 channel sleep studies. Since one of the question templates allows placement of two pictures (EPS, PICT or TIFF are supported) into the question, the employee simply clicks on the correct image and the program does the rest. Scanned sections of 4 channel tracing s are chosen and placed into the program. This has potential for EKG interpretations as well. Results: Within one month 30% of the employees had completed and passed all three tutorials. A Macintosh computer with at least twelve megabytes of RAM is needed to use this program. We are currently using a Quadra 630 with 24 megs of RAM to run the tutorials. The built-in database will be valuable for verification of on-going education. Conclusions: With much emphasis from the Joint Commission on competencies, training and assessment of employees, we feel the tutorials can be a useful adjunct to annual skills checklists and other training techniques in this department as well as in other health care departments.

Reference: OF-96-081