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Reliability of and Correlation Between the Respiratory Therapist Written Registry and Clinical Simulation SelfAssessment Examinations*
Deborah L. Cullen, EdD, RRT; Linda I. Van Scoder, EdD, RRT; Krzysztof Podgorski, PhD; andDerek Elmerick, MS
Study objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of two respiratory therapy self-assessment examinations: the written registry examination (WR), and the clinical simulation examination (CSE). We then used reliability coefficients to test the true correlation between the WR and CSE by employing the Spearman-Brown formula to attenuate for unreliability.Design: This was a nonexperimental correlational study. Setting: The study was conducted at respiratory therapy education programs located in four states. Participants: Sixty advanced-level respiratory therapy students enrolled in the final semester of their programs. Measurements and results: Fifty-eight students completed the WR, and 56 students completed the CSE. The reliability coefficient forthe WR was 0.79. The reliability coefficient for the CSE when taken as a whole was 0.76. However, the CSE is separated into two sections, information gathering and decision making, which are scored separately. Cronbach computed for the information-gathering section was 0.72, while the coefficient for the decision-making section was only 0.64. The correlation between the WR and CSE was 0.86 afterattenuation for reliability. Conclusions: The estimate of the reliability for the CSE is less than that for the WR, and the two examinations are strongly correlated. This leads us to question whether the CSE adds to the validity or reliability in the testing of respiratory therapists. (CHEST 2003; 123:1284 –1288)
Key words: credentialing; respiratory therapists; testing Abbreviations: CRTCertified Respiratory Therapist; CSE clinical simulation examination; MCQ multiple choice question; NBRC National Board for Respiratory Care; RRT Registered Respiratory Therapist; SAE selfassessment examination; WR written registry examination
R espiratory therapist credentialing exists at two levels, the Certified Respiratory Therapist
(CRT) [entry level] and the Registered Respiratory Therapist(RRT) [advanced level].1 The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) conducts job analyses to formulate the content matrix for each credential.2,3 The RRT credential requires two ex*From the Respiratory Therapy Program (Dr. Cullen), Indiana University, Indianapolis; the Respiratory Therapy Educational Consortium (Dr. Van Scoder), Clarian Health, Indianapolis; and Department of MathematicalSciences (Dr. Podgorski and Mr. Elmerick), Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN. This study was funded in part by the Office of Professional Development at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis.
aminations, the written registry examination (WR), consisting of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), and the clinical simulation examination (CSE), a branching-logic patient management...