UAB School of Health Professions Current News

Respiratory Therapy students solve patient problem in SIMWARS

Respiratory Therapy student Kystal HughesForty-seven year old Kevin Clayton comes into the hospital experiencing chest pain and breathing very fast. He had an upper GI endoscopy that morning and left feeling fine, but things changed as the day wore on. The “patient” was actually a simulation mannequin that students from the UAB School of Health Professions Respiratory Therapy program, School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Samford University’s Pharmacy school battled it out in the first-ever SIMWARS.

“Most of the times, our schools have silos, but that’s not the case once your training is complete,” said Nancy Tofil, M.D., an associate professor in Pediatrics-Critical Care and the brainchild of the event. “This simulation test shows the importance of interprofessional learning.”

RT seniors DanieRespiratory Therapy student Danielle Fosterlle Foster and Krystal Hughes were put to the test. Two teams were given the same scenario with the patient.  With a low oxygen level of 85, both Danielle and Krystal immediately put oxygen masks on the patient during their separate simulations. Unfortunately, the patients’ levels remained the same. Lab tests were “performed” with results giving the students clues as to what was causing the patients’ symptoms. When the lab was concerned about the patient’s chocolate-colored blood, Foster immediately knew the patient was suffering from methemoglobinemia. Thanks to Foster, medical students prescribed the drug methylene blue which quickly elevated the patients oxygen saturation to normal.

“Our professors have trained us well,” said Foster. “They taught us a lot of key things to look for in different situations.”

Faculty and students used remote voting buttons to determine which group won the competition. It came to a tie.

“I felt like we worked as a team, and I had an active role in it,” said Foster.

Watch Danielle on this video

Watch Krystal on this video