Respiratory Therapist Opinions on Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree

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Staffing survey
Out of the two 248 that were surveyed from staffing, 111 did not respond. Four percent of respondents were in the age range 18-24, 30% 25-34, 24% 35-44, 24% 35-44, 22% 45-54, 20% 55+. Sixty percent of those polled were female, and 40% were male. Eighty-four percent of those polled had an Associate's Degree as their highest level obtained in Respiratory Care, 2% were trained on the job, and 14% had Bachelor's degrees in Respiratory Care.
When asked about the highest degree in any field, 3% answered they were on the job trained; 66% had an Associate's Degree, 29% have a Bachelor's Degree, and 2% of those polled have obtained a Master's Degree. The credential status of those that were polled are as follows: 2 NPS, 67 CRT, 121 RRT, 6 CPFT, 0 RPFT, 0 ACCS, five other. When the therapists were polled, they were split up into groups of years they have been an RT. Eighteen percent of those polled have been an RT for 1-4 years, 23% 5-8 years, 14% 9-12 years, 6% 13-16 years, 39% 17+ years.
When asked if the therapist had considered obtaining a Bachelors degree in Respiratory therapy, 38% said yes, 50% said no, and 13% said they already have a Bachelor's degree in RT. When asked if the therapist had considered obtaining a Bachelor's degree in any field, 34% said yes, 36% said no, 26% already have a Bachelor's degree, and 4% are currently pursuing/enrolled. When asked if the therapist would consider obtaining a Bachelor's degree if certain programs existed (checking all that apply): 29% liked the hybrid program; 16% liked traditional on campus program, 43% liked online program, 12% liked other. Those surveyed were asked to choose an incentive the workplace could provide for them to consider a bachelor-degree. Seventy-nine percent of those polled chose tuition reimbursement, 14% pay increase, 0% yearly bonus, and 6% other.
Eleven percent of those polled were familiar with the 2015 and beyond conferences, 89% were not familiar. Twenty-six percent of those polled did have an understanding of the changes taking place at hospitals in other states regarding increased educational requirements for respiratory therapists. 74% did not understand changes currently taking place. Seventy-four percent believed that the requirement of the RRT examination for initial licensure could be true for future respiratory therapists Twenty-six percent did not agree.
When asked how important understanding of current research studies is to clinical practice, 27% said very important; 36% important, 26% somewhat important, 5% not important, and 7% were unsure. Twenty-one percent of therapists felt that obtaining a Bachelor's degree would make them a better therapist, 79% said it would not make them a better therapist. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed agreed that the attraction to respiratory care comes from a lack of educational standards, 77% did not agree with this statement.
Managerial Survey
Four (67%) of the management that responded to the survey were...

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