The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

The Development of an RCP Residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Orange County



(CHOC) Orange, CA. Mindy Pera RCP, CRTT. Dan Villareal BA, RCP, RRT.

Background: With the advent of regionalized medicine and with the current shortage of new graduates from Respiratory Therapy Programs, a Pediatric Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP) is in high demand. As a referral center for critically ill neonates and children, the caliber of RCP's required to provide high-level acute quality care is a challenge. New graduates from Respiratory Therapy Programs and transitioning therapists from adults to pediatrics were unable to adequately meet the skill needs to take care of our pediatric population. We felt that a structured training program would produce a more competent therapist.

Method: Cost analysis were obtained and evaluated to determine the feasibility of the program. Moreover, a needs analysis was distributed to the Medical Team (RN's, RCP's, and MD's) for input on program curriculum. The data were collected and presented to CHOC administration for approval. We developed a paid 5-month Residency program (2 of the 5 months were revenue producing) that included approximately 144 hours of classroom instruction and 277 hours of clinical time with a specially trained preceptor. We also provided mentors and debriefers to assist with the transition from student to therapist.

Results: The cost of the RCP Program per Resident is $6732.00 plus $60,000. Compared to the Cost of sixty thousand dollars for a new hire. Based on the program evaluations, 100% of the Residents came to CHOC because of the Residency and post Residency felt that the program gave them the materials and support they needed to succeed as pediatric RCP's. There was an 80% increase in confidence from our Medical Director, his colleagues and RN's surveyed.

Conclusion: As a marketing tool, the Residency was invaluable in recruiting new graduates. Our six new graduate Residents had not been to CHOC as their clinical site, but had heard about the Residency either by advertisement or by invitation to a recruitment luncheon, which prompted their inquiry into employment at CHOC. The five months RCP Residency in Pediatrics has proven to produce an "advanced beginner" Pediatric RCP.

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