The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Kristin N. Burns1, Teresa A. Volsko2; 1Emergency Department, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH; 2Department of Health Professions, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH

Background: Respiratory therapist-driven protocols are a growing trend among hospitals around the country. The literature supports the use of respiratory therapist-driven protocols and reports positive outcomes such as more accurate respiratory therapy treatments, lower cost to patients, and to decrease patient’s length of stay. The purpose of this research endeavor was to describe respiratory therapists’ perception of job satisfaction when therapist-driven protocols are in place. Methods: A survey was used to collect demographic information and ascertain respiratory therapist’s views regarding job satisfaction and autonomy. This tool was comprised of twenty-nine questions. Informed consent was implied and included in the introduction to the survey. The survey was electronically distributed to respiratory therapists from four separate respiratory care departments within a large (>1000 bed) teaching hospital in Northeastern Ohio using KwikSurveys. Data was entered into Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Inc., Redmond, CA) for analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to communicate results. Results: Thirty seven percent of the individuals eligible for the survey completed the process. Approximately two-thirds of the participants (67%) were female. The vast majority of participants (92%) achieved the advanced level credential, RRT. At least 95% percent of all participants that reported the use of respiratory care protocols felt that they are affectively using their respiratory education. At least 70% of the therapists with protocols believe that they were a respected member of the medical team and their opinions regarding patient care were valued. The individuals that responded that respiratory care protocols are in use in their respective departments, also reported that having therapist driven protocols in place increases their job satisfaction. Seventy four of ninety five (78%) reported the use of respiratory care protocols and were very satisfied to somewhat satisfied with their job. Conclusions: The survey demonstrated that respiratory therapists that have therapist-driven protocols have more satisfaction with their jobs. Respiratory therapists that work under the auspices of respiratory care protocols feel protocols do indeed improve a therapist’s job satisfaction. Sponsored Research - None