The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

VARIABLES PREDICTING SUCCESSFUL RESPIRATORY CARE EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Arzu Ari, Ph.D, MS, CRT, CPFT Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Background: Due to increasing demand for program accountability, program outcomes have become important for quality assessment in higher education. This is a critical issue for Respiratory Care Education (RCE) programs; therefore, RCE programs must assure their constituents that programs have the resources necessary to provide quality preparation for program graduates. Therefore, this study investigated the following research questions as they relate to the organizational effectiveness of RCE programs: (1) What is the relationship between RCE program resources and program performance on the Written Registry Respiratory Therapy Examination (WRRTE)?, and (2) To what extent can the components of program resources such as financial, personnel, and clinical resources predict program success on the WRRTE test performance?

Method: The unit analysis of this study was BS degree RCE programs in the United States. After utilizing a mailed survey research method, the number of surveys returned was 36 with a 70.5 percent response rate. Pearson correlations and multiple regression analysis were used for data analysis.

Results: While Pearson correlation did not show any relationships between clinical resources and the WRRTE score, it indicated that financial and personnel resources had a statistically significant positive relationship with program performance on the WRRTE. Multiple regression analysis identified that the ratio of financial resources to students was the only single predictor of program success on the WRRTE and was responsible for 40 percent of the variance in program performance on the WRRTE. RCE programs spending more money per student and utilizing more personnel in the program have higher mean performance on the WRRTE.

Conclusion: This study indicated that relationship existed between program resources and program performance on the WRRTE. By the application of the findings of this study, increases in organizational effectiveness of RCE programs will be observable as organizational growth, organizational survival, and organizational control of RCE programs. Then, the outcome will be students who have acquired the appropriate skills and knowledge that will enable them to contribute as members of the allied health care professions in the United States.

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