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On March 22, sophomores in Gwynedd Mercy University’s Respiratory Care Program took part in Bronchoscopy Day. In groups of three, the students were able to play the roles of physician and respiratory therapist in simulating a bronchoscopy on a mannequin.
A bronchoscopy is a procedure that looks inside patients’ lung airways to determine what is causing lung problems. The procedure can detect a variety of issues, including tumors, infections, blockages, bleeding, and more. It’s very common for Respiratory Therapists to assist specialized physicians with bronchoscopies, and the lab experience aimed to familiarize students with the protocols of the procedure.
During the lab, students were able to navigate throughout the mannequin’s airway and lungs, practice taking biopsies of liverwurst and gelatin and processing them for analysis. They were even able to remove a foreign body (in safety pin) from the airway. It was a great experience which they all enjoyed while practicing skills they would use in their future.
GMercyU has established itself as one of the best respiratory care schools in the area. With access to state-of-the-art laboratories and cutting edge technology, our students are taught with a comprehensive array of equipment, models, mannequins, and simulators to make sure they’re confident in the workplace once they graduate. In fact, for the last three years, 100% of GMercyU’s respiratory care students passed their CRT and RRT certifications on their first attempt.
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%.
By offering hands-on laboratory experiences like Bronchoscopy Day, GMercyU’s Respiratory Care program is committed to preparing the dedicated students of today to be the skilled respiratory care therapists of tomorrow.