Task analysis of medical technology administration and supervision as a foundation to a curriculum ladder
McBride, Kathleen Elizabeth Becan
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The purpose of this study was to determine the administrative and supervisory competencies that a medical technology student should acquire before graduation from a school of medical technology. It was conducted by surveying and analyzing the administrative and supervisory tasks performed in the clinical laboratory. Focusing on the following research questions and hypotheses permitted the study to accomplish its purposes: 1. In which hierarchical sequence should the medical technology laboratory supervisory tasks be taught? Emanating from this research question was the following null hypothesis: There is no correlation between the laboratory supervisors' rankings and administrative technologists' rankings on the tasks' teaching importance. 2. What amount of time is devoted to performing each of the medical technology laboratory supervisory tasks? Emanating from this research question was the following null hypothesis: There is no correlation between the laboratory supervisors' rankings and administrative technologists' rankings for time requirements of the tasks' performance. 3. What is the knowledge base requirement for each of these tasks? Two instruments were used to collect data for this task analysis study. The first instrument, a pilot task survey questionnaire, was administered to selected medical technology laboratory supervisors and administrative technologists in the Houston-Galveston area to determine what tasks the medical technology laboratory supervisor performs. It was determined that 40 tasks from this pilot questionnaire would serve as the bases for the second instrument. The second instrument used in this study, the Clinical Laboratory Supervision Survey, was the major instrument from which the data analysis was performed. This questionnaire was sent nationwide to four random samples of members in the American Society for Medical Technology. These samples were obtained from the Society's job category listings and were composed of administrative technologists, laboratory supervisors, education coordinators, and staff technologists. From the four samples, a total of 565 questionnaires were returned within a seven week period. The information from the respondents formed the basis for the study. The major findings were divided into demographic characteristics, performance of supervisory tasks, tasks' teaching importance, tasks requiring the most time, and knowledge base requirements for the administrative and supervisory tasks. The major conclusions were: 1. There is a lack of participation in in-service and continuing education programs. Thus, employers are encouraged to provide opportunities for participation of clinical laboratory personnel in these educational activities. 2. There is a considerable difference in the clinical laboratory functions of the administrative technologists and the laboratory supervisors. 3. Laboratory supervisors ranked the teaching importance of supervisory tasks differently than administrative technologists. There was a similar lack of agreement between the two groups on the tasks' time requirements. Due to the contrast in the laboratory supervisor's role and the administrative technologist's role as supervisory tasks performers, it seems reasonable that these two supervisory groups would rank the tasks differently. 4. The establishment of a hierarchical scale for the set of medical technology administrative and supervisory competencies was devised from the laboratory supervisors' rankings of the tasks' teaching importance and tasks' time requirements. Based upon the review of the literature, the findings of the study and subsequent conclusions, a hierarchical list of competencies was developed by the author to serve as a basic design for a medical technology administrative and supervisory instructional program. Furthermore, it is recommended that learning activities and proficiency tests should be derived from the administrative and supervisory competencies in order to have a complete instructional program in medical technology administration and supervision. Finally, additional research is needed to explore courses of action that will motivate medical technologists to become participants in continuing education activities.