The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE IMPORTANCE OF VENTILATOR WAVEFORMS. ABDULRAHMAN ALSHAMRANI, BSRC, RRT, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS, UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO, TOLEDO, OH.

Abdulrahman M. Alshamrani1



Background: Waveforms are recognized as a tool which can aid respiratory therapists in improving bedside patient care. Often, however, they are underutilized or even not utilized by therapists. This study examined differences in attitude toward waveforms among groups of respiratory students and working therapists.

Methods: A questionnaire consisting of 10 statements was created exploring the importance of waveforms, knowledge about waveforms, and cost effectiveness of the tool. The questionnaire used a five-level Likert scale ranging from strongly agree (1) to strongly disagree (5). A Total of 48 questionnaires were returned. Questionnaires were collected and entered in Mini Tab program and analyzed. Two comparisons were conducted in the study. The first was between the two groups of students {BSRT program of two years (S1) vs. BSRT program of three years (S2)} and the second was between all students (SS) and working therapists (ST). The working therapists were from a hospital which had just completed an intensive program on the use of waveforms. The median was used instead of the mean because the sample was small. P-value was calculated for all comparisons and P<0.05 was considered significant.

Results: There was one significant difference between S1 and S2 regarding interpretation of waveforms (P=0.04). S1 showed knowledge without hesitation regarding interpretation of waveforms more than S2. All groups agreed on the importance of waveforms (P=1.00 between S1 and S2, P=0.36 between SS and ST). despite the knowledge of ST, some of them do not agree about the importance and this is why the P-value is low compared to SS. All groups agreed on buying waveform monitors regardless of their cost (P=0.94 between S1 and S2, P=0.90 between SS and ST).

Conclusion: The comparisons showed no significant differences between students (SS) and working therapists (ST) in the important statements such as the importance of waveforms and the value of it. In addition, most of respondents agreed on the importance of purchasing these monitors to improve patient care.