The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2004 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

1RESPIRATORY THERAPY PROGRAM DIRECTORS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR PROGRAMS’CONSISTENCY WITH THE MATRIX OF THE NATIONAL ASTHMA EDUCATION CERTIFICATION BOARD (NAECB) AND THE GLOBAL INITIATIVE FOR OBSTRUCTIVE LUNG DISEASE (GOLD) GUIDELINES.

Timothy B. Op’t Holt, Ed.D, R.R.T., AE-C, F.A.A.R.C. University of South Alabama, Cardiorespiratory Care, Mobile, AL.

Background: Respiratory therapy curricula include content to prepare graduates to treat patients with asthma and COPD. While graduates can perform the skills necessary to treat these patients during an exacerbation, their ability to function as asthma and COPD disease managers is uncertain. I determined the extent to which curriculum content dealing with asthma and COPD management is included in contemporary respiratory therapy programs. The research question was: to what extent is the material on the examination matrix of the NAECB and within the GOLD guidelines included at the cognitive and psychomotor levels in the curriculum of respiratory therapy programs?

Methods
: Respondents were asked to complete a four-part survey containing 93 statements consistent with the NAECB matrix and GOLD guidelines. The respondents indicated the extent to which their program curriculum included the content of the statement. The survey was distributed to 275 respiratory therapy program directors by selecting three out of four entries in order from the Committee on Accreditation in Respiratory Care (CoARC) listing. The responses from the useable returns were transferred to scantron sheets and the frequencies and percentages of each response were reported.

Results
: Seventy-nine useable responses were analyzed. The data represented the percentage of respondents who indicated their curriculum includes this information at the cognitive level, or cognitive and psychomotor levels, or neither level.

Discussion/Conclusions
: The depth of understanding of asthma and COPD expected by the NAECB and outlined by the GOLD guidelines are a challenge to respiratory therapy educators. Respiratory therapy programs are justifiably occupied with the breadth and depth of knowledge required to pass NBRC examinations, but not the detail required of the NAECB or GOLD. Continuing education would include a deeper understanding of asthma and COPD, patient assessment, assessing the patients’abilities to self-manage, psychosocial issues, and organizational issues. A more diverse faculty and additional time will be required to prepare respiratory therapy graduates to function in these roles.

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