Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Casey Ozaki


Quality clinical education is an essential element of respiratory therapy education yet, many respiratory therapists who serve as clinical instructors lack formal pedagogical training. To enhance clinical education and align expectations, other healthcare disciplines have utilized the Cognitive Apprenticeship Theory (CAT). The purpose of this quantitative survey study was to learn more about clinical education in respiratory therapy by examining the expectations of both clinical instructors and students regarding the CAT teaching methods. Since the required entry level education, credentials, and licensing have been a recent source of controversy within the profession, the impact of these variables was also assessed. A modified version of the Maastricht Clinical Teaching Questionnaire (MCTQ), first created by Stalmeijer et al. (2010), was sent to and disseminated by program directors of entry level respiratory therapy programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). A total of N = 248 responses from clinical instructors (n = 85) and students (n = 163) were collected and analyzed. Results indicate that both clinical instructors and students expect the teaching methods of the CAT to be used (average percentage of agreement = 98.8% and = 95.9%, respectively). Despite high levels of agreement, clinical instructors had statistically significant (p < .05) higher expectations than students regarding the expectations for clinical instructors to demonstrate how to perform skills (p = .019), adjust their teaching activities to the level of the student’s experience (p = .001), and to ask students questions in order to increase the students’ understanding (p = .006). No significant differences were found when comparing gender and type of credential held by the clinical instructor. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between the program degree level and the level of education completed by the clinical instructor. Statistically significant negative correlations were found between clinical instructor experience and the expectations for them to encourage students to formulate and pursue learning goals. Overall, the findings clarify the expectations of clinical instructors and students regarding clinical education in respiratory therapy. Furthermore, the results support the use of the CAT teaching methods in the field of respiratory therapy to meet clinical teaching and learning expectations.