Date of Award

Fall 11-18-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Arzu Ari

Second Advisor

James Colquitt

Third Advisor

Robert “Brent” Murray



BACKGROUND: A crucial area of professional respiratory therapy (RT) education is clinical training. The aim of this study is to determine the perceptions of both clinical instructors (CIs) and baccalaureate degree RT students on the effective characteristics of CIs working at three universities in Saudi Arabia.

METHODS: 141 RT students and 15 CIs in the Department of Respiratory Therapy at Prince Sultan Military College Of Health Sciences, University Of Dammam, King Saud University Of Health Sciences in Saudi Arabia were surveyed in this study. The survey participants were asked to rank the teaching characteristics of CIs according to its importance. The survey questions were composed of 18 teaching behaviors ranked on a five-point Likert scale (5: most important, 4: important, 3: neutral/uncertain, 2: less important and 1:unimportant). Descriptive statistics and independent sample t-test were used for data analysis. A significance level was set at 0.05.

RESULTS: The response rate of this study was 71% for RT students and 72% for CIs, respectively. Sixty-eight percent of the students were male, while thirty-two percent were female students. Also, thirty-three percent (33%) of CIs were male, and sixty-seven percent consisted of female CIs. Although both RT students and CIs ranked “competency on demonstrating knowledge” as the most important teaching characteristic of CIs, the rest of their ranking showed differences. While the first 3 ranking of CIs included only teaching competencies of CIs, RT students ranked competency, evaluation skills and teaching ability of CIs as the most important teaching characteristics of CIs. According to RT students and CIs participated in this study, 4:1 is the best student:clinical instructor ratio for optimum clinical learning experience in respiratory therapy education in Saudi Arabia. Also, ranking obtained from junior and senior RT students were statistically different in seven out of the eighteen teaching characteristics of CIs (p<0.05).

CONCLUSION: Competence on demonstrating knowledge was identified as the leading characteristics of CIs by RT students and CIs. However, their ranking on teaching characteristics of CIs differs. There are significant differences between the perceptions of junior and senior RT students on effective teaching characteristics of CIs. Further research is warranted.