The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1998 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

CURRENT STATUS OF CLINICAL TEACHING ROLES AND COMPENSATION IN RESPIRATORY CARE EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

Karla Solesbee BSRT, Tim Op't Holt, Ed.D, R.R.T. Cardiorespiratory Care, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL.

Background: Cutbacks and downsizing in the health care industry may effect who is responsible for the clinical education of respiratory therapy students. In recent years, respiratory care service departments have been told to do more with less, subsequently clinical education may be one of the first cutbacks. We engaged in a mail survey of respiratory therapy programs throughout the United States. The objectives were to determine the nature of clinical respiratory care education: if hospital respiratory staff instruct or if others are brought in from outside the regular staff to instruct respiratory therapy students in the clinical setting and how schools compensate their clinical instructors. Methods: A 7 item questionnaire was developed and mailed to 125 respiratory therapy programs systematically sampled from the directory of the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education. The questionnaire asked respiratory therapy program directors to delineate their clinical instructors by compensation, the nature of clinical instruction, and the rewards for clinical instruction. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the results. Results: Sixty-eight percent (n= 85) of the respiratory therapy education program directors responded to the questionnaire. 59% of programs had volunteer instructors. Non-volunteers were comprised of hospital staff and external individuals. 22% (highest plurality) of paid clinical instructors received $17-22/hr for instruction. The benefits provided to respiratory staff and clinical instructors included clinical faculty appointments (26%), library access (20%), inservice education (19%), and computer access (18%). Paid clinical instructors provided supervision, demonstrations, check-offs, assessments, grades, role modeling, and liaison services. Nonpaid instructors provided the same services, though less frequently. Conclusions: Substantial clinical instruction is provided by volunteers. However, this number is decreasing compared with previous studies. The respiratory care program is increasingly required to provide clinical instructor support. Various non-monetary compensation is afforded to voluntary clinical instructors. In the future, programs may need to budget to a greater extent to provide for clinical instruction.

The 44th International Respiratory Congress Abstracts-On-DiskĀ®, November 7 - 10, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia.

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