2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS IN RESPIRATORY CARE
Anthony L. Bilenki MA,RRT; Stacey E. Mann BS, RRT; Bradley Taylor BA, RRT. The
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
Introduction: Respiratory Care as a profession is still in its infancy and continues to grow and develop. A mere 50 years ago the primary responsibility of the "Oxygen Technician" was to repeatedly deliver and retrieve full and empty medical gas cylinders and clean "inhalation" equipment
As decades have passed, responsibilities of the Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP) have evolved. The individual that at one time delivered and processed equipment now has a number of different responsibilities.
- Critical Care Clinician
- Patient Care Assessor and Evaluator
Professional Development Programs in Respiratory Care provide professionals and departments with the following opportunities.
- Professional recognition
- Professional advancement
- Employee development
- Explore professional and institutional interests
- Develop and support an interest in research
Method: The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) Department of Respiratory Care Services (RCS) has had a professional development program in place for the last 10 years. There have been several iterations of this program over the past decade. The current program offers RCP's three levels of growth from entry-level to advanced practitioners. The purpose of this program was to provide a mechanism for the developmental needs of the staff, the department, and the institution. Development of this program was driven in part by the lack of higher education programs in RC being available. The professional development program has helped JHH RCS and more importantly its staff in the following arenas.
- A source of professional recognition for obtaining advanced credentials
- Provide a program to recognize practitioners with advanced clinical skills
- Mentoring program for staff to prepare for professional opportunities within and outside JHH
- Increase involvement in inter and intra departmental activities
- Support clinical and operational research and contributions to the literature
- Provide the employee with the resources necessary to function at a level that an Associate's degree does not support
Results: Programs such as these serve as follows:
- Satisfier to both incumbent and prospective employees. Employee feedback indicates that having an escalating staff development program in place in the department is a positive motivator.
- Support the need for hospital based development programs
- Demonstrate the need for development of a plan for advanced education requirements for Respiratory care Practitioners
Conclusion: Even in its success this program continues to evolve. The issues of dual credentials, levels of experience, and education continue to act as challenges in the administration of this program.