Amanda’s interest in respiratory care developed during medical mission trips to Honduras as an undergraduate. There she saw many patients, frequently children, suffering from severe untreated asthma caused by exposure to pesticides and other environmental irritants.
Back in the US, Amanda observed the challenges RT’s face managing a very wide variety of critically ill patients in the ICU. She sees tremendous value in simulation training for providing students a way to gain experience with a range of patient types, without putting patients at risk.
“Imagine yourself in the ICU assigned to the case of a patient intubated due to a COPD exacerbation. It’s your first time treating a patient with this condition. How much more competent would you feel if you had already experienced this scenario in a risk-free simulated learning environment?”
In her research at Rush University*, Amanda got her first exposure to the IngMar Medical ASL 5000 Breathing Simulator. Interested in going beyond basic bench testing, her research focused on developing patient models to study the performance of home care ventilators with pediatrics & neonates. In addition to evaluating the ventilators, these models are also used for educating parents before their infants are discharged home with ventilators.
“Simulation education is critical for preparing RT’s to treat a wide range of patient types,” continues Dexter, “With the ASL 5000 and the RespiSim, you can get the full picture, explore what happens when you manipulate the ventilator and achieve a much deeper understanding of ventilator management – without putting patients at risk.”
“Training educators to leverage the power of the ASL 5000 to provide immersive training on ventilator management is deeply satisfying work because it eventually results in better patient care. And those patients are our loved ones,” says Dexter.
*Open Forum Abstracts presented at the 2014 AARC Congress:
“The Use of the ASL 5000 to Validate Pediatric and Neonatal Normal and Disease State Lung Models” and “Laboratory Investigation of 4 Portable Ventilators Using Pediatric and Infant Lung Models.”
In addition to Amanda Dexter, the co-authors of the studies were Amy Grant, also at Rush; as well as Scott Grey (College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, OH), and Teresa A. Volsko (Respiratory Care, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron, OH).