Date of Award

Fall 10-26-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Douglas S. Gardenhire, Ed.D, RRT-NPS, FAARC

Second Advisor

Robert B. Murray, MS, RRT

Third Advisor

Ralph D. Zimmerman, MSM, RRT-NPS




Abdulelah Aldhahir, BSRT, RRT-NPS

(Under the Advisement of Dr. Douglas S. Gardenhire)


Clinical preceptors in respiratory therapy (RT) face a great deal of expectations from schools, students, and colleagues. They are expected to possess effective teaching skills and qualities that signify their knowledge, expertise, and professionalism. Thus, it is important to identify and distinguish effective teaching characteristics of present RT clinical preceptors, which will influence the clinical success of RT students and reflect the efficiency of RT administrators. PURPOSE: The goal of this study is to determine the effective teaching characteristics of clinical preceptors that are perceived to be most and least important according to RT administrators in select Metro-Atlanta hospitals. METHODS: A descriptive survey was utilized to gather data. The survey was an adaptation of previous RT studies and was emailed to all RT administrators of a convenience sample. The survey was composed of three general domains, professional competence, relationship with the students, and personal attributes. Moreover, thirty-five behavioral teaching characteristics were provided based on a five-point Likert scale. It was ranked according to each characteristic’s importance. RESULTS: A survey response rate of 55.4% was achieved. Female participants accounted for 47.22% of all participants, while male participants account for 52.78%. Managers were the largest position group of administrators (25%), followed by directors (19.4%), assistant managers (16.7%), educational coordinators (16.7), supervisors (16.7) and others (5.5%) represented as a clinical preceptor and a clinical specialist. The teaching characteristics found to be the most important, “showing genuine interest in patients and their care” and “demonstrates skills, attitudes and values that are developed by students in the clinical area (Role modeling)” obtained the highest ranking from all participants with overall mean scores and S.D of (M 4.83, S.D ±0.37). Other important teaching characteristics include responding promptly, demonstrating good communication skills, and facilitate critical thinking during clinical practice were ranked highest by the managers. Meanwhile, supervisors perceived that being approachable, supportive and helpful, facilitates critical thinking in clinical practice, as well as showing competence in clinical skills were most important. On the other hand, educational coordinators perceive demonstration of skills, attitudes, and values that are developed by students in the clinical area (role modeling) are seen as most significant. Lastly, assistant managers perceive role modeling, the ability to communicate knowledge and skills to the students for safe practice, and facilitating students’ awareness of their professional responsibility as the most important characteristics. CONCLUSION: RT administrators in Metro-Atlanta hospitals agree that (role modeling) and showing genuine interest in patients and their care are the most effective teaching characteristics of clinical preceptors. RT administration differs by title in their ranking of clinical preceptors’ effective clinical characteristics.