The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

GPA and student 'harmful' (H) choice frequency does not predict scores on the SAE WRRT or WRRT examinations.  

Douglas E. Masini, East Tennessee State University, Elizabethton, TN. 

Introduction: Use of the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) 'safe' RRT written and clinical simulation is a common practice in most respiratory care programs.  Post-test, we document the harmful (H) choices made by individuals within cohort on the SAEWRRT.  We questioned if the SAEWRRT examination scores predicted student success on the actual credentialing examination. Problem Statement: We asked the question "Was student success on the self-assessment exam written registered respiratory therapist (SAEWRRT) or actual written registered respiratory therapist (WRRT) examinations predicted by student GPA or student harmful (H) choices in mock SAERRT exams."

Method:
 Students in a bachelor's degree program took one 50 question mock exams extracted from retired RRT written examinations each semester starting in the second semester of study (total 4 exams in program).  Exams were used for data gathering and as tools to enlighten students as to their progress in the RT program using these reliable instruments. Findings:  Student files (n = 38) from the class of 2003 to 2005 were assessed in this study. Overall final student GPA mean was 2.89 (range 2.3 to 3.4) divided into quartiles.  13/38 (34%) passed the 'safe' WRRT on the first attempt. There were a mean of 9.5 H choices (range 3-13) made on each of the retired RRT written exams. Low GPA students (2.3 to 2.55 and 2.55 to 2.8) did not choose more harmful (H) choices, neither did a high GPA (2.8 to 3.05 and 3.05 to 3.55) suggest students would choose fewer 'H' choices.  7 of 38 (18.4%) students had never taken the WRRT exam. 25 participants of 38 (66%) received the RRT credential on the first attempt.  Those 6 of 38 (15.7%) graduates taking the WRRT exam a second time had not recorded more 'H' choices on their SAEWRRT exams. 

Conclusion:
  Monitoring harmful (H) choices on written examinations is an excellent analysis of student cognizance of Respiratory Therapy education essentials, but did not predict success or failure on the WRRT exam in this small sample.

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