The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A COMPARISON OF STUDENT BELIEFS AND CONFIDENCE IN TUBERCULOSIS CARE AMONG RESPIRATORY THERAPY, NURSE PRACTITIONER AND BACCALAUREATE NURSING STUDENTS AT THE SAME UNIVERSITY.



Lynda T. Goodfellow, Ed.D., RRT, FAARC, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. USA

Healthcare professional education can overlap when discussing disease processes such as TB with only slight differences taught for disciple specific procedures. A questionnaire to compare student's beliefs and confidence in TB education was developed by pulmonary medical experts, nurses, and respiratory therapists partnering with the National Tuberculosis Curriculum Center (NTCC), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Three disciplines housed at the same university were surveyed in an attempt to understand the differences, if any, in TB education. Baccalaureate RT and BSN students were surveyed during the last semester of their senior year and NP students in the last semester of their graduate work. IRB approval was obtained. Questions included how important is TB education to your academic career, how confident are you in your ability to care for TB patients, how confident are you to provide patient education related to TB, and how comfortable are you to obtain a TB history. Mean scores for each disciple are provided:

  Importance Scale 1 - 4 Confidence Scale 1 to 4 patient education Scale 1 to 5 TB history 1 to 5
RT 16 3.38 2.63 4.69 5.19
BSN 32 3.25 2.66 4.0 na
NP 31 3.06 2.35 4.64 4.86

Students report that they believe TB education is important. They are comfortable and mostly confident with the TB skills learned during their education. Senior RT students report being more comfortable and confident than Master of Science nurse practitioner students with their TB education. By knowing what students think and how confident they are, educators can address issues that may improve the knowledge of TB in students enrolled healthcare professional schools. More research is needed because TB remains a world-wide health problem.

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