The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Crystal Dunlevy, Lufta Bana, Jacob Beach, Amanda Gradert, Raimie Lewis, Carlton Stewart; SAMP, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Background: Although most respiratory therapy (RT) programs rely heavily on the preceptor model to provide clinical education, there is currently no standardized training program for clinical preceptors. The new accreditation standards issued by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) in June 2010 mandate that respiratory therapy programs provide evidence of inter-rater reliability among preceptors who perform student evaluations. A review of the literature revealed that both hospital RT managers and directors of RT education programs agree that standardized preceptor training is needed in order to provide students with consistent clinical experiences. The purpose of this study was to develop a standardized clinical preceptor training program that can be used by RT departments in preparing instructors to deliver effective clinical education and by RT education programs to meet the CoARC requirement regarding inter-rater reliability. Method: The authors developed clinical training modules on two broad topics, principles of adult education and student evaluation and feedback, that included videos illustrating both effective and ineffective implementation of these subjects. Modules were evaluated by 12 RT preceptors at The Ohio State University Medical Center in order to determine inter-rater reliability based on percentage agreement. Three RT educators individually evaluated preceptor responses. Results: Twelve RT preceptors evaluated five videos and identified 23 ineffective behaviors. Three experienced RT educators then categorized preceptor responses. Inter-rater reliability for the 23 ineffective behaviors identified by preceptors was as follows: 100% for 12 behaviors, 92% for eight behaviors, 83% for one behavior, and 75% for two behaviors. Conclusions: The study revealed that the RT clinical preceptor training modules evaluated have a high degree of inter-rater reliability. Further, these modules can serve as the foundation for a more comprehensive preceptor training program that could be used nationally to fulfill an important RT education program accreditation requirement.
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