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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 24-32

Readiness of respiratory therapists in Saudi Arabia to manage patients with COVID-19: A cross-sectional study

Respiratory Care administration, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Hassan M Al Refaee
Respiratory Care Administration, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sccj.sccj_7_21

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Background: Respiratory therapists (RTs) are one of the frontline healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the clinical areas, such as intensive care units, and emergency rooms. There are no data to measure the current practice of RTs in Saudi Arabia toward COVID-19 patient management. This study aimed to measure the current practice of RTs to manage COVID-19 patients. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, self-administered online survey comprising 29 questions. The survey comprised two sections: A demographic focusing on participants' data and a section to measure the knowledge of practitioners about the proper management of patients with COVID-19. None of the RTs who completed the survey were excluded. Results: A total of 247 RTs from different regions of Saudi Arabia were included. Men RTs were (65.6%), and the mean age was 30.52 ± 2.1 years. The majority of the RTs answered the questionnaire questions correctly. Answering the questions correctly was associated with more years of experience and working in the central and eastern regions. More than 50% of the RTs answered three questions inaccurately; those questions pertained to the suitable tidal volume, the acceptable SpO2 for critically ill patients, and the recommended trial period for noninvasive ventilation. Conclusions: Our cross-sectional study showed that RTs working in Saudi Arabia conformed to the current guidelines and recommendations for dealing with patients with COVID-19. The accurate knowledge in dealing with these patients was increased with years of experience. Future studies are required that recruit additional RTs from different countries and educational backgrounds.

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