By Kate Hunger
Selina Deng, a respiratory care senior, joined undergraduates from around the state this spring to present her research on the use of standardized patients by undergraduate respiratory care students in a preclinical setting.
Deng presented her research on March 28 at the Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.
Standardized patients are actors who engage in scripted scenarios during a mock patient examination. Medical students often benefit from this type of preclinical practice, Deng said, adding that UT Health San Antonio respiratory care students are fortunate to have the opportunity to have a similar preclinical experience before they begin clinical rotations.
“I feel very fortunate to have that experience,” Deng said.
Ruben Restrepo, M.D., RRT, FAARC, professor in the respiratory care program, provided the data, collected between 2011 and 2014, that Deng and co-author, respiratory care master’s student Pooja Bhasin, used in their study. Deng and Bhasin analyzed the performance of 99 bachelor’s students, who were tasked with obtaining histories and performing chest exams on standardized patients presenting with cough and shortness of breath. Faculty scored the students in eight categories, including proper introduction, appearance, organization, types of questions, listening, nonverbal facilitation, comfort during physical and closure of interview. The study found the students exhibited good clinical assessment skills, with the strongest scores in creating a good impression, appearance and presentation.
Presenting was particularly meaningful to Deng, who graduates this spring. The research presentation event happens every other year when the Texas Legislature is in session.
“I was very happy to represent the school and the respiratory care program,” she said.
Deng said a related study focusing on both bachelor’s and master’s respiratory care students is under way.