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V. Discussion / Summary

Surveys were mailed to 232 RSDs. One-hundred-two completed and returned their surveys. Two of the surveys were returned unanswered, with notes explaining that their facility was no longer a residency site, leaving 100 answered surveys. Some of the respondents did not answer all of the questions, which altered the number of respondents / question. Survey results will be discussed in the order they appeared on the survey. Of the completed surveys ninety two percent were submitted by male RSDs and eight percent were submitted by female RSDs. Respondents ranged in age from 26 to 60 years old, with the average age falling in the 41-45 year old category. These RSDs ranged in P&O professional experience from 6 to 30 years, with an average level of experience falling in the16-20 year category.

Hypothesis # 5 states that RSD’s will have an average of 5 years experience managing a residency site. Instead I found that the average response was 1 or less years; 35% of the respondents reported they had managed and site for 1 year or less, while 34% selected 2 years, 15% selected 3 years, 6% selected 4 years, 7% selected 5 years, and 2% selected 10 or more years.

Hypothesis # 4 states that 80% of the NCOPE accredited facilities offer an ongoing residency program, with a new resident every year. This hypothesis was based on information regarding residency availability, given by Robin Seabrook, Executive Director of NCOPE. Ms. Seabrook explained that there were 197 accredited residency sites, some of which offer more than one residency, and that there should not be a shortage of residency sites. Contrary to expectation, only 53% stated that there facility offers an ongoing residency program, with a new resident every year, while 47% do not. This information indicates that there may be a shortage of residency sites able to accommodate new graduates and those residents that are seeking their second residency

Thirty-four percent of the 99 responding RSDs stated that they had good or better resources to guide a student through their research requirement, while 22% felt they were moderately prepared, 7% thought they had some resources to guide a student, and 2% selected that they had no research resources to provide a student. When asked how prepared their resident was to carry out their own project, 18% selected excellent, 40% selected moderate, 25% selected moderate, 14% selected some, and 2% selected none. An overwhelming 80% of RSDs felt that their residents met their expectations, 15% were uncertain, and 6% selected that their residents did not meet their expectations.

Standards were set for educational institutions and written rules and regulations were created, termed the “Essentials”. These “Essentials” standardized training in the different educational arenas and set required clinical hours. The “Essentials” list a range of competencies that must be taught in the O&P educational settings, but do not state which educational setting they should be taught in or to what extent these competencies should be covered. Hypothesis #1 states that RSDs will report that incoming graduates need a solid foundation in anatomical and biomechanical knowledge coupled with a thirst to learn, a willingness to accept direction, and social maturity. The following is a list of competencies and their level of importance to our respondents.

Ethics: 42% of responding 99 RSDs stated that “Ethics” should be covered in complete detail in the primary educational setting, while 71% of the 97 RSDs stated that “Ethics” should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Professionalism: 45% of responding 98 RSDs stated that “Professionalism” should be covered in complete detail in the primary educational setting, while 70% of the responding 97 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Examination Techniques: 70% of responding 99 RSDs stated that “Examination Techniques” should be covered in complete detail in the primary educational setting, while 41% of the responding 97 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Patient Handling: 41% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that “Patient Handling” should be covered in complete detail in the primary educational setting, while 68% of the responding 97 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Prescription Criteria: 63% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that “Prescription Criteria” should be covered in complete detail in the primary educational setting, while 65% of the responding 97 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Cad/Cam: 34% of the responding 98 RSDs stated that “Cad/Cam” should be covered in moderate detail in the primary educational setting, while 38% of the responding 94 RSDs stated that it should be covered in some detail in the residency educational setting.

Fabrication Process: 41% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that “Fabrication Process” should be covered in moderate detail in the primary educational setting, while 55% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Patient Education: 44% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that “Patient Education” should be covered in moderate detail in the primary educational setting, while 75% of the responding 98 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Rehab Team Practices: 46% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that “Rehab Team Practices” should be covered in moderate detail in the primary educational setting, while 56% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Health Economics: 44% of the responding 98 RSDs stated that “Health Economics” should be covered in some detail in the primary educational setting, while 42% of the responding 97 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency education setting.

Infection Control & Universal Precautions: 54% of the responding 100 RSDs stated that “Infection Control & Universal Precautions” should be covered in complete detail in the primary educational setting, while 60% of the responding 98 RSDs stated that it should be covered in the complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Documentation: 47% of the responding 99 RSDs stated that “Documentation” should be covered in complete detail in the primary educational setting, while 88% of the responding 100 RSDs stated that it should be covered in complete detail in the residency educational setting.

Hypothesis #1, an open-ended question was created for this survey; “Is there any subject that could be covered in the primary educational setting that isn’t currently being covered, or needs to be elaborated on in greater detail? In answering this question, ” 28% of the responding 54 RSDs made statements that were business related topics, such as L-Codes, billing, inventory and ordering. 22% of the responding 54 RSDs made statements that were related to academics, such as biomechanics, gait, anatomy, and pathology. 20% of the responding 54 RSDs made statements that were easily categorized as technical skills. Another response to this question may be related to the second part of Hypothesis # 2, which states that RSDs will report that younger students will have more difficulty relating socially to patients and to staff and have insufficient knowledge related to work ethics. No questions were designed to specifically test a resident’s willingness to learn, accept direction, or to test social maturity. 9% of the 54 responding RSDs made statements relating to interpersonal skills, such as “Improve future clinicians ability to interact with tech staff” which could relate to social maturity.

Hypothesis #3 states that RSDs will feel that NCOPE should provide local and regional clinical continuing education workshop (with CEUs) on topics related to student evaluation, teaching techniques, and the current educational curriculum. To test this hypothesis, three open-ended questions were created for this survey. The first question created to test hypothesis #2 was; “What changes would your like to make to your residency program?” In answering this question, 38% of the responding 32 RSDs stated that they wanted to increase the resident’s exposure in their residency. (Appendix B)

The second question created to test hypothesis # 3 was; “ What do you need or whose assistance would beneficial in making those changes?” In answering this question, 55% of the responding 22 RSDs stated that more residency information and structure from NCOPE would be beneficial in making their desired changes to their residency program. (Appendix B). Other RSDs (18%) responded by specifically suggesting a network be formed and regulated to allow residents to rotate through different facilities. (Appendix B).

The third open-ended question created to test hypothesis #3 was; “ What changes to the NCOPE residency program would you suggest, if any?” In answering this question, 30% of the responding 23 RSDs stated that they would increase the amount of NCOPE provided information and structure in the residency program. (Appendix B).



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