By Kate Hunger
Second-year Respiratory Care students practiced their preclinical competencies this summer before beginning internships in intensive care settings this fall.
The purpose of the preclinical competency checks is to ensure students are familiar with various types of ventilators and other equipment.
“Over the past three years I have each semester really found a better way to improve,” the preclinical competency program, said Assistant Professor Kristina Ramirez, MPH, RRT, CHES, and director of clinical education for the Division of Respiratory Care.
The process begins with visits by clinical instructors, who explain how to set up, troubleshoot and use each piece of equipment. The bachelor’s and master’s students have four clinical practice days in the lab with faculty before they are required to demonstrate their ability to use each piece of equipment, Ramirez said.
The division received funds last year from the Dean’s Office of the School of Health Professions to improve its equipment, which gives students the opportunity to broaden and sharpen their skills before their clinical rotations, Ramirez said.
“I want them to feel comfortable and competent when they go into a situation and see pieces of equipment they should know,” she explained.
The chance to practice for preclinical competency checks boosted Kylie Mihld’s confidence ahead of her internship this fall. She particularly appreciated learning more about intrapulmonary percussive ventilators and jet ventilators.
“I think it’s really helpful,” the second-year master’s student said. “You always want to be prepared—especially in health care.”