The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

DEVELOPMENT OF A SURVEY TO EVALUATE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE CLINICAL INSTRUCTORS.

Joe Koss, MS, RRT, FAARC, Brooke Helderman, BS, CRT, Chris Saline, BS, CRT, Deborah Cullen, EdD, RRT, FAARC, Respiratory Therapy Program, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Background In various healthcare professions, clinicians are routinely called upon to aid in the education of students. Respiratory therapy is one such discipline that relies a great deal on clinical instruction. According to research: clinical skills, personality, and teaching ability are important characteristics for a clinical educator. By identifying the most effective characteristics of clinical instructors, a more productive learning environment may be created. This lends us to the question, "what are the most effective characteristics of respiratory therapy clinical instructors as discerned by respiratory therapy students?" As little research is readily available for respiratory therapy, a study was structured.

Methods The Indiana University 2003 junior and senior respiratory therapy students were the sample population. The survey was developed by asking the senior students to write down the 10 characteristics of effective clinical instructors. The 17 most common responses were compiled into a survey. A likert scale was used to rate the importance of the characteristics with (4) being very strongly agree and (1) disagree. The survey was distributed among the junior and senior classes for pilot testing.

Results The table below displays the mean for each characteristic. A non-directional 2 tailed t-test yielded t=1.52598 and p=.06. Theses values do not indicate a significant difference in the two sets of data.

Conclusion Both the junior and senior classes concurred clinical instructors' knowledge or expertise in the field was the most important quality for effective teaching. Given the instrument construction and t-test values this survey is valid with both highly experienced seniors and less experienced juniors. The final instrument constructed is intended for a national study with respiratory therapy students.

Characteristic Juniors Seniors
Humor 3.1 3.3
Outgoing 3.4 3.5
Expertise 3.7 3.9
Constructive Criticism 3.3 3.1
Seeks new experiences 3.4 3.3
Student participation 3.6 3.5
Physical appearance 3.2 2.9
Time management 3.5 3.3
Ease of communication 3.7 3.7
Honesty 3.6 3.5
Empathy 3.3 3.3
Likes teaching 3.6 3.5
Availability 3.4 3.6
Professionalism 3.7 3.4
Contact with non-RTs 3.4 3.3
Boosts confidence 3.5 3.5
Current in field 3.4 3.3

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