The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A Comparison of Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT) on Selected Demographic and Job Related Variables.



David C. Shelledy, PhD, RRT, RPFT, Donna D. Gardner, MSHP, RRT. College of Health Related Professions, The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas

Background: There has been much discussion regarding CRT and RRT job roles and other professional variables. We compared CRTs and RRTs to determine if there were significant differences (p < .05) in demographic and job related variables, importance of AARC membership, attitudes towards the profession, job satisfaction and intent to leave the job and the field.

Methods:
A multifactor instrument which included items from the previously described Job Analysis Survey for Respiratory Care Practitioners (JAS-RCP) and the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) was pilot tested and then mailed to a random sample (n = 1,000) of 10% of all licensed RCPs in Texas. A second survey was mailed to all non-respondents approximately three weeks later. Following the second mailing, a random sample of 10% of the remaining non-respondents (n = 70) were surveyed by telephone to determine if there were significant differences between respondents and non-respondents. The JDI measures satisfaction with work, pay, promotions, supervision and coworkers. The JAS-RCP collects demographic, job related and personal variables and assesses attitudes towards work and intent to leave the job and field. Items were added to the JAS-RCP to assess professionalism and attitudes towards the AARC. CRT and RRT respondents were compared using the independent t-test for interval and ratio scale variables. Frequency data were compared using the Chi-square test.

Results: There were 280 usable surveys (28% response). There were no significant differences (p> .05) between respondents and non-respondents by age, gender, years of experience, or credential. There were no significant differences between CRTs and RRTs by gender, marital status, job title, or job responsibilities. There were significant differences (p< .05) between CRTs and RRTs by age, years of experience, salary, number of employees in their departments and numbers holding the neonatal specialty credential. RRTs were more aware of benefits of the AARC, were more likely to encourage co-workers to join and believed the AARC was important in protecting their future. CRTs were less likely to join due to cost. RRTs also more strongly agreed that the RRT credential was rewarded financially and that all therapists should hold the RRT. RRTs also rated themselves higher on leadership and had higher levels of satisfaction with promotions, decision making and respect by nursing. There were no significant differences between CRTs and RRTs on satisfaction with work, pay, supervision or coworkers, or on intent to leave the job or field. There were also no significant differences between CRTs and RRTs in scope of practice.

Conclusions
: RRTs were older, had more experience and better salaries than CRTs. RRTs more highly valued the RRT credential, had higher levels of satisfaction with promotions, participation in decisions and leadership and were more positive about the AARC. There were no significant differences between RRTs and CRTs in scope of practice performed.

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