The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Wellness Curricula

William F. Galvin, MSEd, RRT, CPFT Tuesday, November 5, 1996

Health care delivery is experiencing tremendous change and upheaval. Hospital departments are in the midst of downsizing, rightsizing, re-engineering, restructuring, etc. Educational institutions are certainly aware of the changes, however, are they really modifying their educational processes? Are they rethinking and redesigning their curriculum? Are they assessing their program structure and purpose? Does the RCP graduate possess the knowledge, skill, and ability to function in this new environment? Are the schools responding to the needs of the RC provider community of the 21st Century?

Previous presentations, notably the 1995 AARC Annual Meeting in Orlando and the Summer Forum in 1996, touched on some of these issues by addressing the issues of "Meeting Clinical Education Needs" as well as the provision of "Quality clinical Education in a Decentralized Environment". However, have we really begun to make the transition within our curriculum?

While the intention of the symposium is to assist in designing new curricular components, the purpose of this presentation is to address the curricular needs of the RCP of today with regard to wellness. The presenter will specifically address: (1) wellness issues essential to satisfying the NBRC content outline, (2) wellness needs of respiratory care providers in today's changing health care environment, and (3) how to incorporate wellness into the curriculum. The presentation will stress the importance of wellness in a managed care environment and the new roles and responsibilities of the RCP of the 21st Century. It will "make a case" for wellness by identifying key curricular issues, such as; longevity, life expectancy, the leading causes of death, the multiple dimensions of health, the determinants of health status, and the pivotal concepts of individual responsibility and the influence of cultural norms. Additionally, it will address the key components in actual wellness program development and the role of the RCP as educator, facilitator, and counselor.

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how to incorporate a comprehensive wellness component into the curriculum. A variety of options will be provided with emphasis placed on assimilating essential and practical components within existing and future program designs (associate and baccalaureate models).

If you are considering incorporating wellness into your program model, this presentation will assist you in identifying different options. The clinical aspects or considerations of a wellness curriculum will be addressed in the final presentation of the symposium, "Incorporating CliniCal Education into the New Curricular components". This final presentation will be a panel presentation and a forum for more interaction and sharing of personal experiences between attendees. Those individuals that have a wellness component are welcome to share their experiences with the audience. We look forward to seeing you.

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