California Respiratory Care Workforce Study

The Respiratory Care Board of California was facing numerous issues that were expected to affect the future of the respiratory care workforce. These issues included the impact of changing the educational requirement for entry into practice from an associate’s degree to a baccalaureate degree; the implications of granting respiratory care practitioners prescriptive authority under protocol; determining whether the current requirements of clinical education are adequate and whether the organization of the clinical education experience needs redefinition; the value of professional ethics and law courses that respiratory care practitioners are required to take; and the impact of increasing the number of continuing education hours required for respiratory care practitioners and determining the value of redefining their content.

This workforce study, conducted under a contract with the Board, involved a variety of data collection and analytic methods, including a literature review, qualitative interviews with directors of pulmonary care services, qualitative survey of directors of pulmonary care services, analysis of educational curricula used to train respiratory care practitioners, qualitative interviews with directors of respiratory care education programs, and focus groups with practicing respiratory care practitioners. The outcome for these different project components was a report synthesizing the findings and was delivered to the Respiratory Care Board of California.

For more information, please contact Timothy Bates or Joanne Spetz.