Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Douglas S. Gardenhire

Second Advisor

Robert B. Murray

Third Advisor

Kyle Brandenberger


Background: Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) is an important test that assesses the oxygenation and ventilation status. ABG tests are primarily obtained in intensive care units and emergency room patients. Blood gas analysis is a standard diagnostic method for measuring and assessing the acid-base composition and the various levels of the partial pressure of gases in the blood. These measured gases consist of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2), partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2), the potential of hydrogen (PH), and oxyhemoglobin saturation (SaO2). It additionally assesses acid-base balance by measuring bicarbonate (HCO3) and base excess (BE). Healthcare professionals can evaluate and assess patient conditions because of circulatory, metabolic, and respiratory diseases by interpreting ABG results. The interpretation of ABG results provides detailed information about the level and severity of diseases. Blood gas analysis assists in evaluating patient response to medical interventions, monitoring the condition of patients with pulmonary or cardiac diseases, assessing the severity and progression of cardiopulmonary disease, and determining if compensation is occurring. Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the perception of ABG interpretation among nursing and respiratory therapy students from Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions at Georgia State University. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at Georgia State University. Data was collected from nursing and respiratory therapy students using a convenience sample. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire with direct coordination with RT department directors. Data was analyzed using the statistical program of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Results: A total of 236 responses were received from both programs. The majority of the study participants pursuing bachelor's degree in nursing n= 145 (61.4%); followed by a bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy n= 76 (32.2%); and a master's degree in respiratory therapy n= 15 (6.4%). The current study findings demonstrated that undergraduate and graduate healthcare students exhibited positive perceptions toward ABG interpretation. The findings revealed that healthcare students reported the strongest agreement on the importance of recognizing an abnormal ABG, with a total mean score of 6.85 and a standard deviation of (SD ± .684). There were significant differences in the familiarity regarding ABG interpretation between nursing and respiratory therapy students (P< .001). Lastly, there were significant differences in the perceptions regarding ABG between students who had clinical experience and those who had no clinical experience (P< .001). Conclusion: Healthcare students have positive perceptions toward ABG interpretation. The study's findings also support the theory that bachelor's and master's degree respiratory therapy students exhibited superiority in familiarity regarding ABG interpretation over bachelor's degree nursing students. Additionally, the current study’s findings indicated that experience positively affects the perception regarding ABG interpretation.


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