Background: Despite recent advancements in the respiratory care (RC) profession, no single institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) offers a master's degree program in RC.
Methods: A nationwide and validated survey was used to explore the current needs and interests in establishing RC master's degree programs in the KSA. The process included representatives from the healthcare industry, universities, and professional societies.
Results: A total of 1250 stakeholders across the KSA completed the survey. The sample includes 722 (58%) males, 504 (40%) respiratory therapists, 547 (44%) students, 138 (11%) leaders, and 61 (5%) were academic respondents. Most respondents were from Central 491 (39%) and Eastern 307 (25%) regions, with 1003 (80%) of the total sample worked or studied in governmental sectors. A total of 574 (82%) of the leaders and RTs had Bachelor degree and 430 (61%) of them had 1-5 years working experience. According to 80% of the employers and employees, only 0-5% of the RTs in their organization had a master's degree. The calculated mean % of the agreement (agree/strongly agree) on the needs was 83% in all needs' assessment items, which shows a great support for establishing a master's in RC to meet the personal, professional and society needs. The mean % of the agreement for the level of interests among all participants was 86%, indicating a great level of interests in establishing a master degree in RC. The agreement % on the needs assessment and level of interests in establishing a master degree in RC in KSA were ≥80% in each stakeholder group.
Conclusion: There are obvious needs and interests in establishing master's degree programs in RC in the KSA. A master's degree in RC should be established to address the growing needs for advanced RC services throughout the nation and enhance RC research.
Keywords: NCAAA; Saudi Arabia; accreditation; education; master degree; respiratory care.
© 2022 Alqahtani et al.