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Benchmarking, a new method for developing an educational curriculum for respiratory therapy courses in medical schools

Abbas Khosravi, Rita Rezaee, Golnar Sabetian.

Introduction: “Develop a curriculum (DACUM)” describes all the ways in training organization plans and guides teaching. Benchmarking has been employed form 1970s to search for “best practices” in business operations and its application to the process of teaching design, is a new concept. The aim of this study was using DACUM and benchmarking method in order to present useful and unified method for producing the best practice curriculum for educating respiratory therapists in our country. Methods: A five step benchmarking method was used to establish curriculums of well-known universities. Following this, 219 relevant health care
professionals from United Arab Emirates and Iran were interviewed. Finally, all data was merged to DACUM. Results: Our results showed: Respiratory therapists are working in all hospitals (100%) in UAE, While none of the hospitals in Iran have these professionals. Eighty-seven percentage of volunteers were agree that the nature of work in hospitals need to use these professionals, and their abilities will improve the quality of care. Ninety-two percentage of nurses said: They will be able to take care of ventilators and other respiratory equipment, but all of them (100%) were agree that they need advanced trainings. Discussion: Respiratory therapists in different countries are getting different levels of education and responsibility. It is very important to customize the curriculum and the professional scope of practice according to the requirements of health care facilities. Conclusion: Using DACUM and benchmarking method helped us to produce a comprehensive and relevant educational curriculum for respiratory therapists in our medical university.

Key words: Benchmarking, curriculum, develop a curriculum, education, respiratory therapy

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