The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2009 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A SIX-YEAR REVIEW OF A PEDIATRIC RESPIRATORY THERAPY RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Tim Macknight, Michelle Nylander; Respiratory Care Services, Primary Children’s Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Βackground- Primary Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) is a 252-bed tertiary care facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Respiratory Therapy (RT) staff spends the bulk of their productive time in either one of the two intensive care units or the Emergency Department. As these critical care areas have been continuously expanding for several years, the RT department has seen an increased need for full-time Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT’s). For a variety of reasons, traditional recruiting methods such as local and national advertising, job fairs, and state/national conferences have been largely unsuccessful in hiring experienced Pediatric RRT’s. Beginning in 2003, we built upon an existing twelve week Internship and introduced the Respiratory Therapy Residency program in an attempt to address staffing needs for future growth. Methods- Demographics, training records, and employment information were reviewed from the 27 Residents accepted into the program from June 2003-June 2009. As there were distinct differences in the selection and orientation processes in the first three years (2003-2006) and the second (2006-2009), comparisons in retention rates, recruitment strategies, and training hours required to achieve full productivity are made in the two three-year periods. Results- See Table 1 for detailed data. As the program has evolved, retention of Residents has significantly improved. Contributing factors may include targeting new graduates from the local area, altering the selection process, adding multiple classroom sessions during specific unit orientations, and training additional preceptors. Conclusions- Our findings suggest local recruitment of candidates, multiple staff and management participating in the selection process, and the expansion of didactic hours will increase the likelihood of retaining Resident RRT’s. We have also strengthened PCMC’s relationship with the local Respiratory Therapy program based at Weber State University by adding student clinical hours and carefully selecting preceptors for students to be paired with. Though difficult to quantify, we have noted the higher performing students are tending to gravitate towards our facility and Residency program after their graduation. By Fall 2009, we expect to approach full staffing, eliminate the need for seasonal contract employees (aka “ travelers”), and eventually reduce the need for staff overtime. Sponsored Research - None

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