The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

ADVANCED CARDIAC LIFE SUPPORT: 12 YEARS OF OUTCOMES ASSOCIATED WITH A 3 CREDIT HOUR COURSE IN A RESPIRATORY CARE EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM.

Kathy S. Moss; Department of Cardiopulmonary and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

INTRODUCTION: The American Heart Association ACLS course is designed for healthcare providers who participate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Course elements include objectives related to the identification and treatment of life-threatening cardiac and respiratory events. Results from 12 years of integration of ACLS objectives in the curriculum of a baccalaureate degree-granting RC educational program are presented. CASE SUMMARY: In 2000, a CoARC accredited, baccalaureate degree-granting RC educational program in the Midwest transitioned from a 3 credit hour unidisciplinary EKG analysis lecture course to a 3 credit hour multidisciplinary course including AHA ACLS requirements. The primary goal of the new course was to facilitate understanding of EKG assessment and administration of evidence-based emergency cardiopulmonary therapeutic intervention for students enrolled in the university’s Nuclear Medicine, Radiologic Technology, and Respiratory Therapy programs. A typical RT student enrolls in the course after having completed two semesters of RT didactic and clinical coursework. The course lecturer was the same Registered Respiratory Therapist throughout the entire 12 year period. The first 1/3 of the course includes lecture and interactive learning experiences to facilitate understanding of cardiac dysrhythmias and evidence-based pharmacologic and electrical interventions. The remainder of the course provides traditional practice and testing stations similar to a standard ACLS provider course. DISCUSSION: During the 12 year period, 103 students majoring in Respiratory Therapy enrolled in the course. With the exception of the first year, the majority of RT students successfully completed both the written and practical ACLS examinations on the first attempt each year. Atypical written examination outcomes in 2000 may be associated with instructor inexperience and poor course design. The proportion of RT students successfully completing the written and practical examinations is the same for five of the most recent six years, possibly indicating that instructor experience and effective course design expose the fact that the written and practical examinations evaluate understanding of similar concepts. Results from this case analysis suggest that students who have completed two semesters of didactic and clinical coursework in a baccalaureate degree-granting RC education program can successfully complete AHA ACLS written and practical examinations. Sponsored Research - None