The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

FROM ADMISSION TO GRADUATION:IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE RESPIRATORY THERAPY STUDENTS ON ACADEMIC SUCCESS IN RESPIRATORY CARE EDUCATION?

Arzu Ari1, Orcin Telli2



Background: Because there is a growing need for respiratory therapists, the profession of respiratory therapy (RT) as a career is commonly chosen by male and female students. The influence of gender on student performance in RT academic programs and on the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examinations is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the impact of gender on RT student academic performance from admission to graduation and to determine whether there are gender differences on student success on the NBRC examinations.

Methods: This study consisted of a retrospective analysis of 91 female and 22 male graduates from a Southeastern University between 2003 and 2007. The variables of academic success included student entering-GPA, exit-GPA, student performance on the Certified Respiratory Therapy (CRT) and student performance on the Written Registry for Respiratory Therapy (WRRT) examinations. Only the students' scaled scores on their first testing attempts were included in the study. Independent sample t-test and paired sample t-test analyses at a 0.05 level of significance were utilized to understand the impact of gender on student success in RT.

Results: No significant gender differences were observed in the measures of student entering-GPA, exit-GPA, or on student performance on the scaled CRT and WRRT examinations (p>0.05). When the student entering-GPA and exit-GPA were compared, a statistically significant difference was found (p<0.05). Both male and female RT students had significantly higher exit-GPA than entering-GPA. The following table shows the mean�standard deviations of student entering-GPA, exit-GPA, CRT and WRRT scores.

Conclusion: The results of the study show that gender plays no role in the academic success of RT students. The fact that graduation scores are higher than admission scores suggests that RT education leads students to work harder once admitted.