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AARC 2005 Human Resource Study. Who Was Surveyed? . Respiratory therapists Employers: Acute care hospitals LTACHs, Rehab, SNFs Home care/DME Accredited educational programs. What Were We Trying To Learn?. Determine: Wages Supply and demand Vacancy and turnover rate

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Who was surveyed l.jpg
Who Was Surveyed?

  • Respiratory therapists

  • Employers:

    • Acute care hospitals

    • LTACHs, Rehab, SNFs

    • Home care/DME

    • Accredited educational programs

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What Were We Trying To Learn?


  • Wages

  • Supply and demand

  • Vacancy and turnover rate

  • Demographics and characteristics

  • Scope of practice and services

  • Credentials and certifications held

  • Staffing patterns

  • Recruitment and retention

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How Was The Survey Conducted?

  • Web-based survey instruments

    • Individual registration

  • Attracted participants to survey instruments with:

    • AARC communications channels

    • Post cards to stratified samples of various populations

  • Worked with

    • industrial partners

    • hospital chains

    • state licensing boards

    • state chapters

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How Many of Us?


  • 2,818 valid responses

  • 132,651 active respiratory therapists

  • 19% more than 2000 estimate of 111,706

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How Old Are We?



Mean = 44.59 Std. Dev = 9.36

2000 Mean = 40

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How Much Are We Paid?



Mean = $27.03

Std. Dev = $7.28

2000 Mean =$19.62

38% increase

New Graduates = $19.97 vs. $16.15 in 2000 (up 24%)

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How Many of Us Work Other Jobs?

  • Approximately 30% work second jobs

    • 42% of those with second jobs work in acute care

  • Approximately 6% work third jobs

    • 64% of those report “other” venue

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What is Our Highest Academic Level?


Over 45% of our workforce holds a BS or higher degree (30% in 2000)

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GenderAll Respondents

AARC 2000 HR Survey: Respiratory Therapists

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How Do Wages Vary by Region?(Available by Region/Job Description)

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What do we Earn by Job Description? (Available by Region/Job Description)

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Hospital Employer Methodology

  • Sample of 3000 taken from AHA list of 5,551 hospitals with 25 or more staffed beds

  • Invited to register by post card to participate in web-based survey

  • 681 usable surveys returned

  • Response rate = 22.7%

  • 74 research questions addressed

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Projected Total Therapist FTE ChangesAcute Care Hospital Survey

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Projected Vacant FTEsTherapist Vacancy Rate in 2000 was 5.9%

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Use of “Agency” Therapists (FTEs)

Use of “Agency” Therapists declined by 66% since 2000

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Mean Salaries by PositionAcute Care Hospital Survey

Available by bed size and region

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Salaries of New GraduatesAssociate vs. Baccalaureate(Hospital Employer Survey)

New graduates in the 2005 Therapist Survey reported a mean wage of $19.97 vs. %16.15 in 2000. This is a 24% increase.

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Available by bed size and region

Mean Turnover Rate by Census Region

National Overall Turnover Rate



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Other Services of InterestAcute Care Hospital Survey

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Some Other Services Commonly ProvidedAcute Care Hospital Survey

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  • Population of 392 programs solicited by post card

  • 290 (74%) program directors responded

  • Web-based survey instrument with required registration

  • 45 research questions addressed

  • SPSS ver. 13.0 statistical software package used to analyze data

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Years of Service Remaining

By 2016 we will lose nearly half of our current program directors

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Programs with Faculty Holding RPSGT Credential

  • 14.7% of programs have at least one faculty member with this credential

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Mean Number of Graduates by Program Type

Reported by Institution Type and Region

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Article in April AARC Times

  • Available Now in AARC OnLine Bookstore

  • Studies are in .pdf files

  • Completely searchable

  • $65.00 (Member)

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AARC Benchmarking System Philosophical Tenets

  • There is a great need for benchmarking data:

    • Managers are tired of getting “beat up” by consultants with “proprietary” benchmarks

    • There is a genuine need to improve performance in the respiratory care field

      • Demand going up, supply going down

      • Emphasis on increasing productivity

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Unreliable Metrics Forced Upon Us:

  • Available metrics are very crude measures of productivity:

    • worked hours/patient day

      • all patients assumed to need respiratory care

    • worked hours/unit of service

      • all procedures assumed to take the same time

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Problems Addressed by the AARC:

  • Productivity data derived from outdated billing data

  • Unique department charge codes and procedure descriptors

  • Billing periods differ (hour vs shift vs day)

  • Impracticality of measuring actual total workload

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Desirable Metrics

  • Represent majority (not all) of workload

    • reflect work actually performed by staff

      (eg, aerosol treatment vs oxygen or vent day)

  • Common to all respiratory care departments

  • Raw data easily obtainable, unambiguous

    • do not require reliance on finance department

    • ignore department specific charge codes

    • based on billing volume by CPT codes

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Features of the Benchmarking Tool:

  • Internet-based – available via your PC

  • Hospital/departmental description input

  • Periodic raw data input (for metrics)

  • Open sharing of all information

  • Complete disclosure of metric calculations

    • definitions and equations

  • Educational resources

    • white papers

    • tools and links

    • listserve

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AARC Benchmarking System

  • Designed for and by respiratory managers.

  • Provides comparative data on key department performance indicators.

  • Allows you to determine your comparison hospitals based upon what is important to you.

  • Provides standardized and custom reports.

  • Use at no charge until July 1, 2006.

  • Contact dubbs@aarc.org for a test drive!

Available Now