Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Health Administration


College of Health Professions

First Advisor

Kit N. Simpson

Second Advisor

Walter Jones

Third Advisor

Elinor Borgert


Background: The new generation of respiratory therapists (RTs) entering healthcare today pose a new challenge for leadership. Leaders are faced with the challenge of balancing the needs of the Generation-Y (millennial) workforce, along with the challenges of caring for an aging patient population (Piper, 2008). The safety and quality of services for the next generation of patients depends upon finding reasonable and viable solutions to retain the next generation workforce. Early experience during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and predictive modeling indicate that the need for RTs will exceed the current supply (Hester, Cartwright & Hawkins, 2020). Objective: To identify job-related factors affecting retention of millennial RTs during COVID- 19 crisis. Methods: An exploratory pilot survey utilizing structured questions to identify respondent personal characteristics which have been linked to satisfaction and turnover in the literature. Open-ended narrative responses to elicit responses on poorly understood factors that are specific to Respiratory Therapy millennial job turnover are utilized. Univariate statistics are utilized to describe differences between categories of responses. Narrative responses were analyzed using qualitative assessments to identify themes. The study is classified as a Quality Improvement (QPI) study by the Medical University of South Carolina Investigative Review Board. Results: A total of 56 surveys were mailed out utilizing REDCap data management survey platform. Of the 56 administered, 23 surveys were returned of which 3 surveys excluded that did not identify as a millennial RT. Conclusions: It was shown that during the COVID-19 Pandemic, social media was the fastest and most convenient way to alert applicants about a job. RT workload increased during the COVID-19 Pandemic due to the increase in Respiratory Illnesses associated with the virus. Modifiable job-related factors such as an increase in pay, time off, and an organization’s overall capacity to respond to the pandemic are major factors for overall job satisfaction and a RTs intent to remain with their organization. These responses may form a relevant foundation for the development and validation of a national RT job satisfaction survey for use during the COVID- 19 pandemic.


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