The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2004 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

CHARACTERISTICS AND ATTRIBUTES OF CLINICAL INSTRUCTORS.

Joe Koss, MS, RRT, FAARC, Tanisha Nelson, BS, CRT, Mareka Darring, BS, CRT, Noelle Eubank, BS, CRT, Julia Wilkerson, BS, CRT, Deborah Cullen, EdD, RRT, FAARC, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Background: Clinical educators are expected to be excellent practitioners with formulated teaching skills. Clinical education permits contextual knowledge, skills and values to be inculcated by the respiratory therapy student. Our question was to determine “what characteristics do students prefer that their clinical preceptors possess in order for them to have a productive and effective clinical experience?”

Methods:
Previously, a survey was formulated and validated. This was pilot tested for completeness and ease of application. The final survey consisted of 20 statements of characteristics and attributes for ranking. A total of 35 programs were mailed surveys for student distribution in the Midwest.

Results:
See Table 1. 27 programs and 269 surveys were returned comprising 100% associate degree programs. The respondents were 78% female and 22% male, average age was 28, and average number of completed clinical rotations was 2.5.

Conclusion:
Students determined what attributes and characteristics were most important to promoting a strong educational environment. Most importantly, clinical instructors should be knowledgeable, strong communicators, and allow students to participate and make decisions. The least important were sense of humor, hygiene, and interdisciplinary communication.

Table 1

Rankings Characteristics
#1 The instructor is very knowledgeable and has a great amount of expertise in their field
#2 The instructor is easy to communicate with
#3 The instructor allows the student to participate and make decisions
#4 The instructor seek challenging experiences and new observation for the student
#5 The instructor is honest with students
#6 The instructor is available to students when needed
#7 The instructor appears to like teaching
#8 The instructor conveys pertinent information to the student
#9 The instructor exhibits professionalism
#10 The instructor is outgoing and easy to relate to
#11 The instructor supplies constructive criticism
#12 The instructor is well-organized
#13 The instructor fosters student confidence
#14 The instructor keeps up with new development in the field
#15 The instructor is understanding and displays empathy with students
#16 The instructor displays good time management skills
#17 The instructor queries the student regularly in clinical patient situations
#18 The instructor promotes communication with other health care staff
#19 The instructor possesses a good sense of humor
#20 The instructor exhibits favorable physical appearance and hygiene