The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2002 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE PROFESSION OF RESPIRATORY CARE IN TURKEY: ARE TURKISH MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS READY TO HAVE AN AMERICAN-BASED RESPIRATORY CARE PROGRAM?

Arzu Ari, M.S., CRT, Lynda Thomas Goodfellow, Ed.D, RRT, Alan Biggs M.A., RRT, Joseph L. Rau, Ph.D, RRT. Georgia State University, Department of Cardiopulmonary Care Sciences, Atlanta, GA., American Hospital, Respiratory Therapy Department, Istanbul, Turkey.

Introduction: There is no formally recognized profession of respiratory care in Turkey. Currently, respiratory care services are provided by a mixture of professional people such as physicians, physical therapists, and nurses. The purpose of this study was to investigate what Turkish medical professionals who perform respiratory care procedures think about having an American oriented respiratory therapy education program in Turkey.

Methods: A research tool in the form of a survey instrument was developed to address the research question in this study. The survey contained 17 items that attempted to describe participant?s thinking about a respiratory care education program in Turkey. A four-day respiratory therapy education program was prepared by faculty from the Department of Cardiopulmonary Care Sciences at Georgia State University, at the request of Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. A total of 88 participants including nurses and physical therapists from all parts of Turkey were surveyed at the end of this four-day respiratory therapy education program. To address the research question, frequency tables were generated for both physical therapists and nurses, using SPSS for Windows.

Results: 47% of participants in this study included physiotherapists, and the remainder of the 53% were nurses. All physical therapists and 91.5% of nurses see respiratory therapy as a growing profession in Turkey. They all think that offering an American oriented respiratory therapy education program is needed. Both physical therapists (82.9%) and nurses (74.5%) would like to have a respiratory therapy degree program. 58.5% of physiotherapists and 76.6% of nurses believe that they will get a better position after their completion of such a program.

Conclusion: A comprehensive program of respiratory therapy education can create a respiratory therapy profession in Turkey and can meet the needs of both the people delivering this care and the patients in the hospitals who need this type of care. Turkish medical professionals are aware of this growing need for leaders in the respiratory care profession in Turkey and indicate that they are ready to be trained through a formal program of respiratory therapy such as what is in the United States.

OF-02-020

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