Respiratory Care Students Participate in Bronchoscopy Lab



Gwynedd Mercy University Respiratory Care students participated in a Bronchoscopy Lab under the expert guidance of their instructor Randy Solly on March 26. The students played the roles of physician and respiratory therapist in simulating a bronchoscopy on a mannequin. This immersive experience showcased their academic progress and highlighted the importance of teamwork and communication in the medical field.

A bronchoscopy is a medical procedure used to examine the inside of the airways and lungs. The students delved into the difficulties of bronchoscopy, starting with a comprehensive demonstration of the camera's functionality.

The first challenge was presented as a simulated scenario where a paper clip was lodged within the patient's airway. With precision and coordination, the students relyied on their excellent communication skills, successfully retrieved the paper clip, showcasing their adeptness in maneuvering the bronchoscope.

After succeeding with the paper clip, they plunged into the next exercise, which simulated a more complex scenario. In this scenario, the instructor-placed a safety pin in the airway that mimicked a real-life medical emergency. The student switched roles for this exercise; one student maneuvered the camera through the airway while the other operated the wire with a mini claw attachment for object retrieval. Their successful task completion underscored their ability to adapt to dynamic situations and collaborate effectively under pressure.

The need for qualified respiratory care therapists is growing, due to the aging population and a significant increase in chronic, debilitating illnesses such as asthma and COPD. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that Respiratory Therapist employment will increase by 23% by 2026. That's nearly triple the projected growth for all occupations, which sits at 7%.

Hands-on learning experiences like the Bronchoscopy Lab session is a testament to the dedication and passion of GMercy students in their pursuit of excellence in the medical field.