The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A RANKING OF SELF-ASSESSED CRITICAL THINKING BEHAVIORS IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY

Lynda Thomas Goodfellow, Ed.D., RRT, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

A foundational framework on what comprises critical thinking in respiratory care has been provided by Mishoe (1995). The purpose of this study was to build upon this research by ranking self-assessed critical thinking behaviors in rank order. Using quantitative survey research methodology, respiratory therapists rated themselves on seven critical thinking skills. The effect of personal variables on the self-assessments was also investigated. Mean scores for all seven categories were relatively high (above 4.0) on a six-point scale. The percentage distribution of total item responses may provide a better insight into these rankings because 71% of the respondents rated their self-assessed Prioritizing critical thinking behaviors as very well or extremely well as opposed to only 49% of the responses in the Anticipating critical thinking behaviors (see table). From analysis of bivariate correlations, both Pearson and Spearman's, and independent t-tests for dichotomous variables at (p< .01), age and educational level were found to have no effect on the self-assessed behaviors. The following were statistically significant when comparing personal variables: Troubleshooting and years of experience, p = .000, Decision Making and years of experience, p = .000, Anticipating and years of experience, p = .000, Troubleshooting and gender, t = 4.21, df = 946, p = .000, female means = 4.69, male means = 4.89. This ranking may suggest that critical thinking behaviors are difficult to teach in formal training programs because they are "individual" skills or abilities. Experience may be the key to understanding these critical thinking behaviors. Practical significance of this study suggests that educators and clinicians should consider learning strategies that incorporate the use of experience when targeting novice practitioners.

% of total item response
Rank Construct Mean SD 1-2 3-4 5-6
1 Prioritizing 4.84 .711 1 28 71
2 Troubleshooting 4.77 .707 2 32 66
3 Communicating 4.69 .738 1 35 63
4 Reflecting 4.61 .665 3 39 58
5 Decision making 4.58 .681 2 40 58
6 Negotiating 4.47 .745 4 42 54
7 Anticipating 4.38 .660 4 47 49

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