The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2009 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

DISTANCE EDUCATION DELIVERY OF RESPIRATORY THERAPY: A COMPARISON OF TWO METHODS, SYNCHRONOUS(TRADITIONAL) VS ASYNCHRONOUS( ON-LINE)

Elisha L. Pueppka1, Jill Sand2; 1Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney, NE; 2Southeast Community College, Lincoln, NE

Background: The increase in longevity in the US population has brought about the need for more skilled health care professionals, of which Respiratory Therapists (RTs) play a major role. Many colleges/ universities have attempted to address this issue by creating Distance Education Delivery Programs (DED). Two RT schools in Nebraska are utilizing different methods of DED to help with the need for RTs by either synchronous (traditional) or asynchronous (on-line) programs. The purpose of this study was to determine if there are any differences between DED methods of delivery in synchronous vs asynchronous from the perspective of graduates of each type of program. Method: Surveys that evaluated 22 variables of a DED RT program were sent to graduates of synchronous(GDEDS;n=7) and asynchronous( GDEDA;n=9). The surveys were completed and returned by 88% of the synchronous and 100% of asynchronous graduates. The survey sought to determine if there were differences in perceptions of clinical skills, critical thinking, and understanding of therapeutic modalities between the two types of methods. They were also asked to rate communication with program instructors,presentation,access to class materials, and overall ease of understanding materials presented for each method. Age, gender, and reason for choosing DED were also evaluated. Results: Most participants were female, GDEDS 67% and GDEDA 89%, between the ages of 18-25. NBRC credentials were, GDEDS 50% CRT and 50% RRT; and GDEDA 44% CRT and 56% RRT. The survey showed no appreciable differences between perceptions of graduates of either method. Open ended responses from GDEDA; felt like they were teaching themselves and needed more hands on experience, and GDEDS; clinical time made up for some lack of classroom information. Overall the consensus for choosing a DED RT program was convenience, finances, and no need for relocation. Conclusion: The two methods of delivery of Respiratory Therapy appear to produce graduates with similar skills and knowledge as well as to fulfill a need for therapists without sacrificing quality. Sponsored Research - None

GDED Perceptions of Synchronous vs Asynchronous Programs

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