The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2002 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A COMMUNITY-based Respiratory Therapy PROGRAMÕs INITIAL EXPERIENCE WITH an INTERSTATE ENRICHMENT partnership at a Regional medical center.

Terri Price, RRT, Mary Dekeon, RRT, Ronald Dechert RRT, M.S.- Critical Care Support Services, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI

Background: Community based RT training programs face a growing dilemma of providing adequate clinical enrichment programs for RT students. Students may therefore lack the needed experience to provide specialty supportive care upon completion of their matriculation. In addition, this clinical shortcoming may adversely affect Registry scores for our new graduates.

Methods: The University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown RT program developed an interstate partnership with the University of Michigan Medical Center to provide a specialty enrichment program for RT students. Each RT student participated in a 1-week concentrated enrichment program conducted by staff therapist and supervisors at the University of Michigan. The program consisted of clinical experience, lectures and information exchange between the students and staff. This format emulates the principle tenants of the international enrichment program fostered by the AARC for visiting faculty. Following completion of the enrichment program each student was surveyed to identify the degree of satisfaction with the program in addressing his or her needs and individual goals.

Results: Seven students participated in this weeklong enrichment as part of their final semester in the RT program. The response of the student surveys is summarized in the Table below.

Overall Survey Questions:
1. The overall experience at the hospital was well organized.

2. How did this experience affect your perception of the level of professionalism in Respiratory Care?

3. Did the RTs you encountered at the center change your expectations for your own career (enable you to set your own personal goals higher)?

Extremely Satisfied Very Satisfied Somewhat Satisfied
Question 1 4/7 2/7 1/7
Question 2 5/7 2/7 0/7
Question 3 5/7 1/7 1/7

Conclusion: Academic medical centers have a professional obligation to provide enrichment experiences for RT students. This interstate enrichment program emulates the values and goals established for the AARC visiting international professor program. Our initial experience indicates that such an enrichment program is beneficial to the overall experience of the RT student.

OF-02-134

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