The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

SURVEY OF PHYSICIANSTO IDENTIFY THEIR EXPECTATIONS OF RCPs IN PATIENT ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES

Robert L. Wilkins, Ph.D., RRT,FAARC, Jacqueline Evans, BS, CRT, andLennard Specht, M.D.

The exact role of RCPs in patientassessment is not well defined.

The purpose of this study was toidentify local physician expectations of RCPs for the application and interpretationof various assessment procedures. A survey was developed that called for physiciansto indicate on a scale of 1 to 5 (1= never; 2= rarely; 3= occasionally; 4= often;and 5= always) how important they perceive it is for RCPs to be able to interpretor perform 20 commonly utilized patient assessment tests or procedures.

The survey was mailed to 24 physicianswho care for patients in the medical and surgical intensive care units at LomaLinda University Medical Center and the Jerry L. Pettis Veterans AdministrationMemorial Medical Center in Southern California. Nineteen (76%) of the 24 surveyswere returned. The assessment procedures rated highest included: assess lungsounds (4.8), interpret ABGs (4.5), interpret PFTs (4.3), assess and interpretvital signs (4.3), interview patient to clarify symptoms (4.2), and percussthe patient?s chest for resonance (4.0). The procedures consistently rated lowwere: interpret EEG (1.8), assess abdomen (2.3), interpret sleep studies (2.3),and interpret echocardiography (2.4). A total expectation score for each completedsurvey was determined by adding the scores from each of the 20 assessment procedureslisted. The average total score was 67.0 (S.D. = 10.7) on a scale from 20 to100. The total expectation score did not vary by years of experience in patientcare or type of medical specialty (e.g., pulmonary vs. surgery).

The results indicate that the physicianscompleting our survey generally have high expectations of RCPs for the applicationof patient assessment techniques that involve direct evaluation of lung performanceor condition.

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