The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

UTILIZATION OF ACLS SKILLS BY THE RCP IN A CODE SITUATION: A COMPARISON TO DEPARTMENT MANAGER'S EXPECTATIONS OF ACLS SKILLS BY THE RCP

Bradley Asbury, Jason Galloway, RRT, Joseph Manuel, RRT, Phillip Hoberty, EdD, RRT. Respiratory Therapy Division, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Introduction:
  Respiratory therapists who are trained in ACLS and participate in in-hospital resuscitations may not fully use all the skills they are trained to perform.  A previous study of department manager's beliefs of skills utilized by a therapist during a code situation needs to be compared to a survey of therapists who participate in in-house resuscitations. 

Objective:
  The purpose of this study is to compare the results of previous survey of respiratory therapy department manager's assessment of skills utilized by therapists to a survey of the therapist's assessment of ACLS skills utilized in a code situation.

Methods:
  A non-experimental, descriptive study was conducted by the use of a written questionnaire regarding the importance of various components of ACLS performed by respiratory therapists, as well as the frequency that the components were used. The questionnaire was established by modifying a previous one that was used to survey respiratory care managers. Our instrument was modified to adapt to actual practitioners rather than their managers. The sample consisted of 260 Respiratory Care Practitioners in Ohio. The RCPs were randomly selected from a mailing list provided by Ohio Respiratory Care Board. We performed a descriptive study with a 2 group post-test design and no treatment. There were no independent, dependent or extraneous variables involved in this study.

Results:
  Twelve surveys were returned due to wrong addresses.  There were 38 respondents to our survey.  Seven of the respondents did not participate in resuscitations performed at their facility, leaving 31 responses to be analyzed and a usable response rate of 13%.  Overall, 81.6% of the surveys returned were used in this study. This percentage of the population participated in in-house resuscitations, however only 50% of the respondents held ACLS certification. Fifty-five percent of the respondents felt that there was a need for respiratory therapists to hold ACLS certification. There were statistically significant differences in mean frequency and importance values between the following groups:  mangers and clinicians, ACLS certified and non-ACLS certified, associate prepared and bachelor prepared, CRT and RRT, and facility bed size (0-250 and 250-450+).

Conclusions:
  Respiratory therapists recognize that the skills listed by the AHA are important actions to take in a code situation. However, RTs rarely perform these skills most likely due to the availability of other healthcare providers such as doctors and nurses who also perform ACLS. We believe that ACLS certified therapists and bachelor prepared therapists more frequently perform skills than the non-ACLS therapists and the associate prepared therapists because they have been trained to do them. Because ACLS certified therapists use ACLS skills more often, and have received education on ACLS, they ranked the importance of the skills higher than that of the non-ACLS therapists.

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