Home > Blog > September 2014 > Pima Medical Institute Respiratory Therapy Students Head to National Sputum Bowl Competition

Pima Medical Institute Respiratory Therapy Students Head to National Sputum Bowl Competition

Posted: September 30, 2014 by Elizabeth Baker

Las Vegas (Sept. 30, 2014) – Respiratory therapy students from Pima Medical Institute’s Las Vegas campus beat out six other teams during the statewide Sputum Bowl on Sept. 17. The team will head on to the national finals, to be held in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, where they will compete against several other teams, including students from Pima Medical Institute’s Tucson campus.

“They did a great job,” said Las Vegas campus’ Respiratory Therapy Program Director Anthony Everidge. “We like to encourage all our students to participate from the first through the fifth semesters of their respiratory therapy education.”

Last year, Las Vegas Pima Medical Institute students won the national championship, held in Anaheim, Calif. They beat out several teams and won the finals against the Mayo Clinic team from Minnesota. The nationals are hosted during the American Association for Respiratory Care Congress (AARC) every year. Pima Medical – Denver students have won the national championships several times
 as well.

Students who competed in the Nevada challenge included Vanessa Mower, Christopher Andresky and Jason Shaffer. Erin Smith, a Pima Medical Institute student who competed on a different Pima team, will join the three students to complete the four-person team required for the finals.

To prepare for the competition, the students study for months in advance with what Everidge calls a “bank of questions a foot thick.”

“It covers every topic – from anatomy and diagnostics to mechanical ventilation. We print that out and quiz each other.”

The Sputum Bowl is a fast-paced, Jeopardy-style competition that involves multiple categories related to respiratory therapy, including anatomy, physiology, diagnostics, pathology, acute care and much more. Competitors must hit a buzzer as quickly as possible and correctly answer questions for points.

“It was crazy,” said Mower, who graduated on Aug. 22 from the respiratory therapy program. “We had a lot of fun. It was a lot of hard work and very exhausting but a great experience overall.”

Andresky said the competition was tight – especially against the three other Pima Medical Institute teams. Four other teams from the College of Southern Nevada also competed.
“Once we got down to four teams it was pretty tight,” Andresky said. “We began studying about two months prior, dedicating five to six hours a week. It really helped me sharpen and hone my skills.”

He credits his education and Pima Medical Institute for his success during the competition.

“I couldn’t have gotten a better education anywhere else. Our respiratory therapy department is bar none one of the top in the U.S.”

Jason Shaffer said studying for and competing in the Sputum Bowl has helped him get through his third semester, which he says has been a challenge.

“I reviewed everything I learned from the first and second semesters. I’m a bit nervous about the finals, but really excited.”

Smith finished on the second place Pima team. She graduates in May and loves studying respiratory therapy.

“It’s a great feeling to do a job where you get to help people every day and make a difference in their lives. I feel like I picked the right program and I love the instructors.”

The team will compete against other teams from across the nation on Dec. 9. Finals are on Dec. 11.

About Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute (PMI) is a private, accredited school dedicated to provide students classroom studies paired with real-world training at medical facilities. Established in 1972, PMI helps students become career ready, focusing exclusively on health care professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. PMI’s curriculum includes certificate, associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs, ranging from nursing, medical assistant and radiology technician to veterinary assistant and dental hygienist.
PMI operates 13 campuses as well as an extensive online curriculum. The medical career college has a presence in seven western states with ground locations in Albuquerque, NM; Tucson and Mesa, AZ; Denver and Colorado Springs, CO.; Seattle and Renton, WA; Las Vegas, NV; Houston, TX; and Chula Vista, CA. For more information and a complete list of programs offered at each campus, visit pmi.edu or call 888-442-5998.

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