Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

MPA Public Administration


Health and Medical Sciences


Naomi Wish


Problem-based learning, Hospitals, Medical school curriculum


Background: Problem-Based Learning (PBL) has been incorporated into the curricula in many medical schools. It has also spread into schools of health sciences, nursing, public health, business and other professional education programs. The necessary for effective problem-based learning as well as the behavioral elements, which may be attributed to effective problem-based learning, are generally the characteristics that employers seek when making staffing decisions. This paper proposes that Problem-Based skills Learning is an appropriate adjunct to traditional staff development methods. Method: A group of volunteers (7) was solicited from the Respiratory Therapy staff at a University Hospital. The group participated in a PBL exercise. Upon completion of the PBL exercise the group was asked to complete a survey. The collected included: experience in the field and familiarity with education formats other than PBL. The group data was asked to compare PBL to other education formats. Positive and negative perceptions of PBL were noted. Results: 1he average professional experience of the group was 6.14 years with a range of 2.5 - 12 years in the hospital. The most preferred education format the lecture; the least preferred education format was the videotape. was The group had I 00% strong agreement with the statement indicating that PBL provided more opportunity for interaction with participants. There was also 100% strong agreement that PBL experiences should be incorporated into the department's education plan. The group also strongly agreed (85.7%) that PBL was useful as a learning tool and relevant to clinical There was practice. slightly less enthusiastic response (57. l % and strong agreement 42.90/o agreement, as to the "effectiveness" other formats experienced. and "enjoyment" of PBL compared to Conclusions and Recommendations: Problem-Based Learning appears to be an acceptable methodology for professional continuing education and performance improvement in a hospital-based setting. The hospital-based PBL experience could be improved with careful planning to minimize interruptions and could be enhanced by incorporating web-based technology as a supplement between PBL sessions.