The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2009 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

SURVEY OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CONFIDENCE OF RESPIRATORY THERAPY STUDENTS REGARDING TUBERCULOSIS

Sandra T. Hinski, Lynda T. Goodfellow, Larry Bryant, Ralph Zimmerman; Respiratory Therapy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly contagious disease. With respiratory therapists on the front-line in treating all types of respiratory conditions, it is imperative their knowledge regarding tuberculosis be accurate and wide-ranging in order to successfully treat patients, participate in transmission reduction education, as well as protect themselves from tuberculosis infection. Methods: Students enrolled in a bachelor degree RT program were surveyed prior to and following tuberculosis education to compare their knowledge and confidence regarding tuberculosis. The pre-TB education survey was administered to the first year RT class prior to any academic or clinical instruction. The post-TB education survey was administered after the same class had received one hour of TB education in lecture format and participated in approximately 64 hours of clinical education. Results: Pre-TB education surveyed student’s average grade on questions that focused on their TB knowledge was 44.5% and the post-TB education surveyed students demonstrated improvement with an average score of 72.4%. Six choices ranging from no confidence to high confidence (A through F, respectively) were rated by each student. The respondents in the pre-TB education survey were generally confident (D 27.5%, E 10%, F 15%) that they could identify the need for airborne infection isolation precautions to prevent transmission of suspected of identified TB. The post-TB survey answers to the same question showed improved confidence (D 11.4%, E 28.6%, F 17.1%). Conclusions: Prior to program education regarding TB, none of the surveyed students had attended a lecture where TB was the primary focus. The post-TB education survey demonstrated all respondents had attended at least one TB focused lecture. At least three quarters of the instruction was given in lecture format (75% pre-TB education surveyed, 100% post-TB education surveyed). The RT student’s overall level of knowledge regarding TB increased from the pre-TB education survey to the post-TB education survey and their responses indicated an improvement in confidence. Further research is needed to evaluate if surveying the knowledge and confidence of the RT student regarding TB can be used to make conclusions about a respiratory therapy program’s effectiveness regarding TB education. Sponsored Research - None

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