By Arzu Ari, PhD, RRT, PT, CPFT, FAARC
Mrs. Seniha Ugurlu, 2012 International Fellow of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), organized a two-day education program that was held at Istanbul Memorial Hospital in Turkey December 20-21, 2015. The program was approved by the International Education Recognition System (IERS), which was developed by the International Council for Respiratory Care (ICRC) in partnership with the AARC.
Although respiratory care procedures are performed by physical therapists (PTs) in Turkey, mechanical ventilation still is not a part of physical therapy curriculum. Turkish PTs, who are specialized in respiratory care, struggle with clinical applications of mechanical ventilation after their graduation. Therefore, training them on mechanical ventilation is essential for providing proper treatment for critically ill patients with pulmonary diseases that will allow health services to produce better outcomes for ventilator-dependent patients in Turkey. Mrs. Ugurlu explained that addressing this important issue for the profession was the focal point of organizing the meeting.
The goal of the program was to increase the knowledge of Turkish PTs on the clinical applications of mechanical ventilation and to improve the quality of services provided to ventilator-dependent patients. All lectures were taught by Dr. Arzu Ari, Associate Professor in the Department of Respiratory Therapy at Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Dr. Ari, ICRC Governor for Turkey, used different teaching strategies such as power point presentations, group discussions, and case studies to foster participants’ learning on clinical applications of mechanical ventilation.
Two evaluation strategies were used to determine the effectiveness of the program. First, the knowledge of participants was evaluated through a multiple-choice exam on mechanical ventilation that was given before and after the program. Findings of the pre- and post-test scores showed that participants’ knowledge on mechanical ventilation increased from 23 % to 95 %. Second, a survey was prepared to evaluate both the satisfaction of participants and effectiveness of the program. The analysis of surveys completed by participants revealed high satisfaction with the program, instructor, teaching materials and delivery techniques used in the training of PTs. Due to the outstanding efforts of Mrs. Seniha Ugurlu, the effective teaching strategies provided by Dr. Arzu Ari and the endless support provided by Istanbul Memorial Hospital and IERS, the program was a success.