The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

HOW TO INCORPORATE CLINICAL RESEARCH INTO THE DAILY ACTIVITIES OF RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS IN A LARGE URBAN PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL.

Lisa Tyler, BS, RRT-NPS, CPFT, Susan Ferry, RRT-NPS, CCRC, Shawn Colborn, RRT-NPS. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background:
Evidence based medicine has evolved into the foundation for clinical practice, as prospective scientific validation is superior to other methods of analysis. Due to the limited availability of pediatric literature, it is necessary to conduct clinical research in institutions that provide medical care to this patient population. Our therapists are expected to incorporate research into their daily practices as necessary. Difficulties and questions can easily arise in a department of 120+ therapists. The following techniques are utilized continuously or upon protocol approval to minimize error and increase comfort level of the staff therapist when performing research related procedures.

Methods:
A multidisciplinary approach to protocol development and implementation is encouraged. A core group of respiratory therapists identified as expert in all research protocols are available 24/7 for questions and direction concerning protocol procedures. The "train the trainer" model is used to educate and validate competency levels. Specialty groups are comprised as well; they act as consultants for individual protocols. Breakout sessions inform therapists of new study requirements. Information packets, the departmental newsletter, and email are used to notify and update therapists of protocol activity. Study information is listed on the hospital intranet for easy access. The clinical specialist completes regulatory documents and insures proper handling of protocol related activities. Finally motivation, enthusiasm, and collaboration are at the core of the entire process.

Results:
Multiple research protocols are active in various clinical areas including, but not limited to, emergency care, general care, asthma care, intensive care and pulmonary rehabilitation. Staff therapists screen for study subjects, collect data, perform research procedures, and conduct other research related activities with skill and accuracy. The bedside clinician drives the data collection process and is an integral part of research activity.

Conclusion:
When multiple protocols are active there is an undeniable reliance on the bedside clinician. Proper education, information, training, and support are essential to incorporating research into the staff therapist's daily activities. It is important to remember research is required for the enhancement of the staff therapist, the patients, and society as a whole.
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