2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
STUDENT TUBERCULOSIS SURVEY: HOW MUCH DO THEY KNOW AND HOW CONFIDENT ARE THEY?
Lynda T. Goodfellow, Ed.D., RRT, FAARC, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. USA
The National Tuberculosis Curriculum Center (NTCC), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, aims to improve knowledge of TB by standardizing TB education and provide educational materials to healthcare educators. This multidisciplinary project includes three respiratory therapy baccalaureate schools which surveyed their students during the senior year to understand how comfortable these soon-to-be graduates are in their understanding of TB. A 42-item survey was developed by a panel of expert TB physicians and respiratory therapy educators from the partner schools. After IRB approval was obtained, forty-two students voluntarily completed the survey. Results were analyzed by the NTCC and reported in aggregate form. Eighty-eight percent report that TB education is considered important in their academic program (scale 1 to 4, mean 3.29). Sixty-two percent believe that as a future healthcare professional, they are confident that the level of TB knowledge they have attained is adequate to prepare them for their career (scale 1 to 4, mean 2.67). Only fifty-seven percent report that they have been involved in any aspect of care of a patient with latent TB infection. Overall confidence was ranked high (scale of 1 to 5, mean 4.21) for identifying the need for airborne isolation and educating patients and families about issues related to TB using language that is understandable and reflects cultural awareness (scale 1 to 5, mean 4.0). By knowing what students think and how confident they are, educators can address issues that may improve knowledge of TB in students in health professions schools. More research is needed because TB remains one of the deadliest diseases in the world.