Home > Blog > October 2016 > Pima Medical Students Head to National Sputum Bowl

Pima Medical Students Head to National Sputum Bowl

Posted: October 11, 2016 by Elizabeth Baker

Pima Medical Institute is excited to send eight students to the American Association for Respiratory Care’s 62nd annual International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 15-18, where they’ll compete in the national Sputum Bowl against several other schools.

Finals are Oct. 17. Check our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates between now and then on how are teams are doing, and check our Instagram account for photos!
Team members from the Albuquerque and Denver campus’ Respiratory Therapy program will represent Pima Medical, which has won the national Sputum Bowl competition several times. Sputum Bowl is an academic respiratory therapy challenge that’s held Jeopardy style, where students must quickly and accurately answer questions that range from anatomy and physiology to mechanical breathing and disease.
Last year, respiratory therapy students from Pima Medical’s Las Vegas campus won the national title and students from Denver, Albuquerque and Mesa, Arizona, also competed. In 2014, Pima Medical students from Denver, Las Vegas and Tucson, Ariz., competed, with Denver winning the national title. Pima Medical has also won Sputum Bowl in 2008, 2006 and 2005; and in 2010, the Denver faculty won the Practitioner Sputum Bowl championship.
We asked this year’s team members what drew them to the respiratory therapy career. Here’s what they had to say:
Denver Team

Pima Medical Institute Denver Campus Sputum Bowl team

Nick Helbig
Hometown: Westminster, Colorado
I decided to become a respiratory therapist because I have always wanted to help people. Pima Medical offers a great program and I knew I couldn’t go any other way.
Rebecca Matsko
Hometown: Aliso Viejo, California
I wanted to become a respiratory therapist because ever since I was a little kid, I have always wanted to help people feel better. I grew up struggling to deal with asthma and this made respiratory therapy the perfect choice! 
Emily Stagner
Hometown: Littleton, Colorado
In 2011, my sister passed away. During her time in the hospital, I got to know one of her RTs and learned about the field. Once I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I wanted to do more, so I decided to continue my education. I absolutely love respiratory therapy and cannot wait to begin my career!
Krystal Spangler
Hometown: LeMars, Iowa
I have always loved everything about medicine and helping people survive and thrive. I decided to go into respiratory therapy because breathing is so fundamental to survival and so scary if you aren’t able to do it. I want to help people breathe better and hopefully live full lives.
Albuquerque Team

Pima Medical Institute Albuquerque Campus Sputum Bowl team

Lauren Johnston
Hometown: Batesville, Indiana
I chose respiratory therapy because of the intriguing skill set that is required for the constantly evolving healthcare community, especially after seeing the respiratory therapists who helped my loved ones.
Andrew Dominguez
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
I originally chose respiratory therapy because it was my wife’s dream to take the program and since I was disabled with a congenital heart condition, she wanted me to take the program with her. In May of 2015, I was enrolled with my wife. I had no medical experience, but I’ve come to really enjoy it and I feel confident that I will excel in the medical field as a respiratory therapist. I find it rewarding to give quality patient care and help serve my community.
Alma Parrilla-Paz
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
I chose respiratory therapy because I want to save lives and make someone’s day just by helping them breathe a little easier.
Haylen Montero-Gonzalez
Hometown: Havana, Cuba
I wanted to become a respiratory therapist because I wanted to specialize in helping people breathe, which is the gift of a lifetime. I want to make a difference in people’s lives.

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