The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

CATALYSTS FOR LEARNING MECHANICAL VENTILATION

Gina A. McMonangle1, Teresa A. Volsko1



Background: The literature reports that the learning approach adopted by students is strongly influenced by a variety of factors, including teaching techniques, the type of assessment used, the workload of the subject, feedback received, enthusiasm of the teachers and instructional resources. A student's perspective towards those factors may be of value to educators selecting educational tools. The purpose of this survey is to determine what textbook characteristics respiratory care students find useful when learning the principles and clinical application of mechanical ventilation. We hypothesize that respiratory care students prefer the use of online resources to supplement a core text when learning the principles and clinical application of mechanical ventilation.

Methods: A 20 question survey was used to ascertain information regarding the resources respiratory care students would find useful when learning the principles and clinical application of mechanical ventilation. The questions gathered information regarding participant demographics, program characteristics, in addition to learning preferences. The surveys were mailed to a random sample of programs accredited by the commission on the accreditation for Respiratory Care Programs. Completed survey forms were stripped of any program identifiers prior to entering data into SPSS 15.0 (Chicago, IL) for analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to report survey results.

Results: A total of 1,500 surveys were mailed to accredited respiratory care programs (20 surveys to each of the 75 randomly selected programs). An 11.5% response rate was realized. A majority of the sample population (75%) was female under the age of 29 years (range 18 - > 35 years). Regional distribution is displayed in Table 1. More than half of the respondents were enrolled in baccalaureate degree programs. Students preferred hardback textbooks (49%) with full color illustrations (98%). Although 68% of students preferred the option of having online resources to compliment the text, only 15.7% reported availability and use of such resources. One student reported no preference secondary to never reading the textbook.

Conclusion: Although students prefer online resources to augment the core textbook when learning the principles and application of mechanical ventilation, few resources are available or used.