The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Amanda L. Roby2,1, Salvatore A. Sanders1, John M. Hazy3, Teresa A. Volsko1; 1Health Professions, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH; 2Respiratory Care/Polysomnography, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH; 3Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH

The purpose of this study was to investigate disruptive behavior in the respiratory workplace. The prevalence, clinical setting, sources and types of disruptive behavior were explored. Four hypotheses were tested: First, respiratory therapists experience disruptive behavior in the workplace. Second, Verbal disruptive behavior is the most common form found in the healthcare environment. Third, the incidence of disruptive behavior is higher among bedside caregivers compared to managers and educators. Finally, the greatest source of disruptive behavior is described. Methods: A 23 question survey gleaned data to evaluate disruptive behavior in the respiratory workplace. Informed consent was obtained. The survey was distributed electronically to respiratory therapists who were members of the American Association for Respiratory Care. Results: A total of 119 of a possible 3,941 participants (3%) completed the survey. Ninety six percent of individuals surveyed had experienced a form of disruptive behavior. An equivalent percentage of individuals, 96%, witnessed a co-worker experiencing a disruptive event. No difference in the type of disruptive behavior was experienced by job class. Bedside practitioners or staff respiratory therapists did not experience disruptive behavior more often than department technical directors, educators or supervisors. Disruptive behavior was deemed unacceptable. "Zero tolerance" initiatives were identified as a means to control disruptive behavior. Conclusions: Respiratory therapists in all job categories experience disruptive behavior. Victims are willing to explore effective ways to control disruptive behavior.
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