Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology




 Colleague Contributions of Best Practices


JRC-CVT invites colleagues to contribute Best Practices to share their successes.  Please email your successful activities to the JRC-CVT and include your name and program information.


Since each program is unique, others' best practices may have varying success.  Posting of best practices does not constitute an endorsement by JRC-CVT and each program must make its own determination of which activities to use.


We have found the use of audience response systems, aka “clickers”, to be very helpful in our classes.  Each student can be assigned a “clicker” during the first year that they can use throughout the program.  The instructor can populate power point slides with a wide array of questions that can be asked at any time during a class period.  At the end of the session a spreadsheet file with results can be generated and shared with each student.  The scores students receive for the clickers can be used as part of their class participation or quiz grades.  In some cases, we begin a class with 10 analysis and application questions from the previous week’s material.  This allows us to determine the extent and depth of the students understanding of the previous week’s material and helps to identify any content that needs to be reviewed.  During the body of any particular lecture, at logical break points, we may ask about 10 addition questions during the day from the “treasure chest”.  These are questions for previous courses covering content that should be in the student’s long-term memory.  This motivates the students to continuously look over and review “old” content.  Finally, at the end of the lecture we ask 10 basic recall questions covering the content that was just taught.  This allows us to determine the classes understanding of the material that was just covered.  Not only does this let us see how the class as a whole is progressing, we can identify “at risk” students.  If a student is at risk, we can identify if they are struggling with old information, newer information, basic recall content or more in-depth analysis and application content. 


There are also web-based systems that allow for audience participation at little or no cost.  We recently began using a free version of “Socrative”.  The app can be downloaded to the student’s i-phones, i-pads, or laptops.  The instructor can set up a “virtual classroom” and upload questions or quizzes.  During a class period, the students and instructor enter the classroom and questions can be incorporated into the lecture or delivered as a quiz.  A report of the results can be downloaded at the end of the session and shared with the students.  

In our experience, this strategy keeps the students engaged during the class and allows the instructors to quickly gauge the understanding of the class and pace the lecture accordingly.  Students also seem to like the idea of using their i-phones or i-pads during class.

Jeff Davis, RRT RCIS, Program Director, Invasive concentration, Edison State College, Ft Meyers, FL

Spencerian College utilizes community resources and other programs in our College:

The Kentucky Science Center in Louisville allowed us to view a live open heart surgery. 

The Biomedical Engineer employed at our main clinical site is doing his semi-annual in-service on Radiation Physics and Protection for our students. 

Our Respiratory Therapy instructor (ACLS trainer) includes our students in her ACLS certification class.  They use Spencerian College’s nursing department Simulation Man to perform their mock code.  Our students actually graduate with their RCIS and ACLS certifications. 

Our students are always welcome to any in-services provided by vendors at our clinical site. 

The MD that teaches at our College does a quarterly hemodynamic review class for students preparing for the RCIS exam.
Vicki LeMaster, BS RT(R)(CV), Program Director, Invasive concentration, Spencerian College, Louisville, KY

I was having a lot of difficulty getting our graduates and their employers to return the program surveys to us when I mailed them out.  So, I decided to do the surveys over the phone.  At the outset of each call, I tell them that it will take about 10 minutes of their time and ask them to be as honest and objective as they can be, then I read out the questions and fill out their responses as they give them to me.  I also paraphrase their comments and read them back to them.  I am pleased to say that we get an almost 100% response rate now and this feedback has really helped improve our program!
Catherine Carolan RDCS RDMS RVT, Program Coordinator, Echocardiology Program, El Centro College, Dallas, TX

My colleague, George Nelson, is the Coordinator of the Invasive Cardiovascular Program at El Centro College.  He too, was having difficulty getting program surveys returned.  George and his adjunct faculty took copies of the surveys and as they did their clinical visits to current students (where many of their graduates were also employed).  They would hand out the surveys to the graduates and the supervisors of the labs and have those individuals complete them while they waited.  George was able to significantly improve his return rate using this technique.
Catherine Carolan RDCS RDMS RVT, Program Coordinator, Echocardiology Program, El Centro College, Dallas, TX

Our program uses a dual approach. We first send graduate surveys electronically and via postal service with a self addressed returned stamped envelope to the college. This has been helpful with getting students to send surveys back and students may choose the method to complete the survey. On occasion our clinical faculty need to hand carry the evaluations to students but we have had good success with the dual approach.
Lois Schaffer, M.Ed. RT(R), RCIS, Program Director, Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster, PA









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