The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

IMPLEMENTING A RESPIRATORY STUDENT EXTERNSHIP

Koreen Menzies RRT, Richard Ford RRT, Lisa Wood RRT. Garner Faulkner RRT, Elsie Collado-Komen MS RRT, Timothy Morris MD. UCSD Medical Center San Diego , California

Objective: The AARC Human Resource Survey indicates a 2005 vacancy rate of 8.65%, up from 5.96% in 2000. On a national and regional level respiratory care departments are competing for a limited number of RCP graduates A solution to the growing demand for trained RCP's and managing the increasing costs of training, orientation and competency assessment is to incorporate programs that commit students to the department early in the course of their studies.  We elected to design an externship in collaboration with a local Respiratory Care College to help fill our void, while at the same time offer invaluable on the job training.  

Method:
  A partnership was established with a local a Respiratory Care Program with the intention of hiring a small group of students for a summer externship. We presented the program to the students beginning their second year. Students interested in the externship were required to formally apply, provide a resume, and two letters of reference. Resumes were screened and interviews conducted to select the best students. . We then established weekly and monthly goals. Criteria was developed to validate student competencies in order to receive class credit.   We consulted the California Respiratory Care Board to ensure full compliance with the scope of practice and level of supervision of non-licensed individuals in training programs. 

Results:
  We successfully developed a program which encompassed all our goals and objectives. We involved our staff to ensure their participation and support. We presented our curriculum to the Respiratory Therapy students with overwhelming interest and through the process have hired 2 student externs.

Conclusions:
Programs can be successfully developed between hospitals and colleges to aid in recruitment and retention of qualified staff. Utilizing current departmental training materials and techniques already in place, is cost effective and time saving. Developing a program using staff involvement creates an atmosphere of teamwork and ownership.


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