The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Shauna L. Cilberg1, Karen L. Barnes2; 1Respiratory Care, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City, OK; 2Occupational and Technology Education, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK

BACKGROUND: RRT credentialing exams are one way to assess the high-level critical thinking skills and knowledge that increase potential for exceptional care. Achievement of the RRT is typically preferred by employers eager to staff an expert team. Many respiratory therapists, however, settle for an entry-level CRT credential and forgo the RRT. It is uncertain what incentives motivate some to complete the registry process. In light of this, the research question considered was “What effect do incentives have on obtaining the RRT credential?” METHOD: Respiratory therapists employed at six of the larger Oklahoma City, Oklahoma metropolitan hospitals were recruited onsite during evening shift change. Convenience sampling was used as potential participants were limited to those on duty on the prescheduled date. A 30 item author-generated survey questionnaire was designed based on related scholarly literature to collect demographic, credential, and incentive information. Colleagues piloted the tool prior to use. SPSS was used for descriptive statistical analysis. RESULTS: Subjects (N = 71) included 58 RRTs and 13 CRTs. A significant number of RRTs (91%) were recipients of pay incentives (M = $3.15 per hr) for obtaining the RRT credential and 43% reported this to be the key incentive followed by personal pride/achievement (33%) and professionalism (14%). Personal pride/achievement was the top reason 31% of CRTs are considering the RRT followed by pay and marketability with an equal value of 23% each. CRTs were more likely offered a pay increase after RRT obtainment or none at all. A prepayment (6 or 12 months) of RRT credential pay was the most cited incentive given to registered therapists and resulted in 85% achievement within 12 months. Those limited to pay after receiving the RRT were less apt (46%) to do so within 12 months. CONCLUSION: Pay is of obvious importance as salary incentives, especially in the form of prepayment of RRT credential pay, are logical contributors to the number of therapists obtaining the RRT. Personal pride/achievement, however, should not be overlooked. Importance of the accomplishment should continue to be expressed and successful candidates recognized. Additional data collection to obtain a larger pool of CRT subjects and input from therapists in rural areas would be beneficial for further analysis. Sponsored Research - None