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RT Students and Faculty Train at Brody

GREENVILLE—Students and faculty from Pitt Community College’s Respiratory Therapy program recently took part in a two-day training exercise at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine (BSOM).

According to Wendy Ayscue, Department Chair of PCC’s Respiratory Therapy and Polysomnography programs, several of her second-year respiratory therapy students assisted with team-based learning simulations at BSOM to help educate Internal Medicine residents from Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH).

Ayscue said the exercise was organized by Dr. Robert Shaw, a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician with BSOM. She said Shaw, who also serves as PCC’s Respiratory Therapy Medical Director, wanted her students to demonstrate the skills they have mastered thus far in their program.

“Dr. Shaw was hoping that the students would bring a level of knowledge with them to the simulations where they could feel as though they were an integral part of patient care,” Ayscue said. “(He also) wanted the students to know their role in an emergency situation with a patient, such as assessing an airway, the overall patient status and making recommendations to physicians.”

Ayscue said that on the first day of training, PCC students participated in patient case discussions that called for diagnosis and treatment plans. She said that on the second day, students were assigned to teams and functioned as respiratory therapists in a variety of simulations that also involved nurses from the PCMH Medical Intermediate Unit, PCMH Emergency Response Team members, and faculty from the BSOM Simulation Center.

Ayscue said the team-based simulations gave her students a wider view of patient care, since much of their PCC coursework requires them to practice respiratory-specific tasks, such as assessment, chart research, transports, ventilator initiation and airway management.

“One of the students who participated in the simulations, Callie Burgess, said she learned what her role as a respiratory therapist was in a team approach to patient care,” Ayscue said. “She said it was great to have so many team members playing their roles, that it allowed her to connect the dots with regard to treating patients.”

Including PCC students and faculty, there were approximately 90 people taking part in the training exercise, Ayscue said, adding that her students performed exceptionally well.

“I viewed the evaluations immediately following the simulation day and there were many, many positive comments about our students,” she said. “Many of the doctors did not feel that they were students because they performed at the level of licensed therapists.”