The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

PHYSICIANS’ PERSPECTIVES OF PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL AND ACADEMIC DEGREE ON PRACTICE COMPETENCY FOR THE RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONER AND NURSE.

Carlton R. Insley, Sidney R. Schneider, Robert L. Joyner; Health Sciences, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD

BACKGROUND: Awareness of physicians’ perspectives on the practice of Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) for expanding to mid-level provider capability is necessary for an appropriate professional development pathway for practice growth. We investigated physicians’ perspectives of RCPs competency relating to professional credential and academic degree as compared to nurses. METHODS: An expert committee validated survey was presented via electronic mail to ATS physicians. Approximately 7300 ATS members were surveyed, with 428 responding (approximately 5.8%). Four survey items address two research questions: (1) Is there a relationship between physicians’ perspectives on higher professional credentials and greater practice competency for RCPs (CRT vs. RRT compared to LPN vs. RN)? (2) Is there a relationship between physicians’ perspectives on higher academic degree and greater competency for RCPs and nurses (AARCP vs. BSRCP compared to AAN vs. BSN)? Data Analyses: Pearson’s chi-square test (two-tailed, p £ .05) was used to detect differences between comparisons. Data were expressed in frequencies and percentages. RESULTS: Physician’s responded that higher RCP and nurse professional credential yields greater practice competency; however, physicians’ perception of Nursing as compared to Respiratory Care Practitioners is different and more favorable (p < .05). Additionally, physician’s responded that higher academic degree in both professions yields greater competency with no significant difference in physicians’ perception of nursing as compared to Respiratory Care Practitioners (p > .05). CONCLUSION: Physicians drew a greater distinction between the RN and LPN credentials than that between a RRT and CRT credentials. Noteworthy, physicians made the same distinction between baccalaureate degree-prepared vs. associate degree-prepared nurses and baccalaureate degree-prepared vs. associate degree-prepared Respiratory Care Practitioners. These results are limited to the perceptions of ATS physicians responding to this survey. Generalizability of these findings may not apply to the broader population of ATS physicians. Sponsored Research - None