Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Respiratory Therapist Burnout, Perceptions, and Beliefs

Pierce, Kurtis (2020) Respiratory Therapist Burnout, Perceptions, and Beliefs. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (693kB) | Preview


Background: Respiratory therapists (RTs) deliver care to patients experiencing both acute and chronic lung diseases. It is key for RTs to provide patient education to their patients to optimize patient outcomes of those affected by lung conditions. However, there are many factors that interfere with the RTs’ patient education sessions. The beliefs and attitudes of RTs may have a significant impact on the quality of patient education received by patients and family members. In healthcare environments where RTs are feeling burned out, patient education may suffer consequently. Increased professional burnout is associated with absenteeism, physical illness, emotional problems, poor job performance and negative attitudes for the healthcare professionals in general (Piko, 2006). The literature currently places little attention on the prevalence of respiratory therapists’ burnout, perceptions, and beliefs. This needs assessment investigates respiratory therapists’ burnout, perceptions, and beliefs with the intention to provide strategies to improve RT practice and patient education.

Methods: A 47-item survey was collected from 12 RTs at UPMC Somerset located in Somerset, Pennsylvania measuring the RT’s attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions on burnout and patient education.

Analysis: Descriptive statistics was utilized to determine the relationship between the five Respiratory Therapist patient education domains (education environment, healthcare organization, interdisciplinary teamwork, documentation of patient activities, and RT beliefs and knowledge), and burnout levels, with attention to National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) specialized credentials, and gender.

Conclusions: Results indicate RTs at UPMC Somerset have a low level of burnout and a high level of job satisfaction. Patient education domain scores were consistently high in the education environment, healthcare organization, documentation of patient activities, and RT beliefs and knowledge domains, indicating those areas as strengths of the RTs. However, interdisciplinary teamwork was the lowest scoring domain in all comparisons, indicating it as a perceived weakness by the RTs. Those who maintain NBRC specialized credentials have higher scores in all five domains compared to non-specialized credential holders. Females scored higher in each of the five domains than their male counterparts. Additionally, this needs assessment provides implications for future inquiry and future practice for hospitals, UPMC Somerset, and academic RT programs. The implications focus on enhancing the interdisciplinary teamwork of the RTs and RT students through various mediums recommended in literature.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pierce, Kurtiskpierce@pitt.edukpierce
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFertman,
Committee MemberGoss,
Committee MemberWang,
Date: 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 May 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 6 August 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 105
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Respiratory Care, Respiratory Therapy, RT Burnout, Healthcare Burnout, RT Patient Education, Patient Education and Burnout, Patient Education, RT Beliefs, RT Perceptions
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 15:33
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 15:33


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item