Back to Top Skip to main content

METC creates innovative training to graduate RT students

Two medical personnel with a simulated baby in a medical setting Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jawaun White, a phase 2 student and Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Gina Martinez, a phase 2 Instructor in the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) Respiratory Therapist program prepare to fit a neonatal oxygen mask on an simulated infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. White and his classmates were completing the clinical portion of their training when the national COVID-19 response compelled medical facilities to postpone non-invasive and non-urgent procedures which impacted their ability to finish their clinical rotations. The class returned to their phase 1 training site at METC to complete the remainder of their clinical rotations in a simulated environment and graduated on May 7.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Respiratory therapists (RT) the world over have been called to the frontlines in the battle against the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2. Preparing to join the fight are 27 military respiratory therapist students who graduated training in early May.

The 32-week Army/Navy Consolidated Respiratory Therapist (RT) program is divided into two phases, and teaches students the skills necessary to function as competent respiratory therapists in critical care areas.

The first 16-week phase is the didactic portion conducted in the classroom and simulation laboratories at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Training involves classroom instruction and hands-on practice in the program’s mock intensive care units (ICU) that utilize realistic, hi-fidelity manikins that simulate ICU patients. The manikins can be programmed to present a variety of vital signs and symptoms, as well as talk, cough, and make other sounds.

Phase 2 included clinical training at the Brook Army Medical Center where students apply their classroom and lab training in a variety of supervised clinical settings that involve hands-on patient contact. Students rotate between different departments to gain more in-depth experience and knowledge of respiratory issues, to include hospital wards, intensive care units, pulmonary function laboratory, pulmonary rehabilitation, and sleep laboratory.

It was toward the end of phase 2 clinical training for RT class 19-015 that medical facilities began to postpone non-invasive and non-urgent procedures in support of the national COVID-19 response.

Due to the COVID-19 impacts on numerous military treatment facilities, the Defense Health Agency enacted a policy to reduce medical and dental care across the Military Health System. This new policy had a direct impact on the students’ ability to complete their clinical rotations to graduate.  

Like many educators who were compelled to think outside the box, the RT clinical instructors sought to create a workaround to this unique situation.

“The instructors wanted to ensure that training didn't cease during the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Dixon, non-commissioned officer in charge of RT phase 2 clinical training.

To complete their training, the students returned from BAMC to the METC to complete the clinical portion in the simulated ICU labs.

“With the reduced capabilities and to ensure the safety of our students,” added Dixon, “We chose to utilize the phase 1 mock ICUs at METC in order to test the students’ abilities as newly trained RTs.”

Dixon explained that to comply with social distancing guidelines, the class was split into smaller groups and each student assigned a specific time to conduct the simulation training. Eight labs, or stations, were set up, each with a different scenario and staffed by the phase 2 clinical training instructor who normally teaches that scenario.

During the rotation students were expected to trouble shoot a ventilator, assess a trauma patient, participate in a code blue emergency, attend a mock pre-term neonatal delivery and resuscitate the newborn, assist with a bedside bronchoscopy, intubation and extubation of a patient, and perform a non-invasive ventilation. A COVID-19 scenario was also incorporated.

“It was well put together by the instructors," expressed Army Sgt. Jasmin Fabre, one of the RT students in the class, who thought the scenario simulations were worthwhile. "This training helped me with the application of skills that RT's possess in lieu of seeing live patients.”

It is unclear whether phase 2 training will return to normal for the next class, but Dixon is hopeful that his team will be prepared.

 “If restrictions are not lifted we will discuss how we will go about training during this pandemic,” he stated. “We’ll be ready.”

You also may be interested in...

Genetic sequence data for SARS-CoV-2

Infographic
6/5/2020
Infographic describing how DoD was able to conduct genome sequencing on the COVID-19 virus

Genetic sequence data for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes #COVID19, plays a vital role in force health protection efforts within the DoD. To jumpstart sequencing efforts, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch's Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response applied a collaborative approach to sequencing capabilities. Resulting sequence data will provide critical information about transmission patterns, track diagnostic effectiveness, and guide the development and evaluation of medical countermeasures.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Coronavirus | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance

DoD Establishes Collaborative Virus Genetic Sequencing Capability for COVID-19

Article
6/5/2020
Image of two scientists in masks looking at a computer monitor

COVID-19 sequencing process will provide military commanders and other DoD leadership with critical information to guide force health protection decision-making.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Coronavirus | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance

Putting talent to work

Article
6/5/2020
Three military personnel wearing masks

One seamstress took it upon herself to create face coverings for her colleagues.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

WRNMMC Operates Drive-Up Immunization Clinic

Article
6/3/2020
Nurse giving a shot to a girl; both wearing masks

Parents and others (are encouraged) to maintain their immunization health during COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare

TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) Health Plan Reinstatement During COVID-19 National Emergency

Fact Sheet
6/2/2020

Fact sheet explaining that explaining that TRICARE Reserve Select beneficiaries now have five months to reinstate terminated coverage after their last paid-through date before a 12-month lockout period will apply.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | TRICARE Changes and You

The 150th Security Forces Squadron supports NM COVID-19 response effort

Article
5/29/2020
Group of military personnel posting for a picture

The 150th Security Forces Squadron and the New Mexico National Guard’s Joint Task Force COVID-19 are providing support that may not otherwise be available to New Mexico communities and their citizens.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Building Your Mental Health Through Resiliency

Article
5/29/2020
Soldier walking through a maze

Being able to think about things from a different perspective is critical.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DoD experts address COVID-19 effects on mental health

Article
5/29/2020
Image of soldier wearing a mask

As the world adjusts to a new normal, here’s how to keep mentally healthy.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DoD launches effort to collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma

Article
5/29/2020
Image of man wearing mask and giving blood

Plasma donations needed in the fight against COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DOD COVID-19 Survivor Gives Shoutout to Doctors, Plasma Donors

Article
5/29/2020
Image of soldier sitting on a bench with flowers and a balloon

Bright was the first person in the District of Columbia to receive convalescent plasma.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MHS Minute: Military Leading the Charge on COVID-19 Research

Video
5/28/2020
Image of MHS Minute Carousel

The military continues to serve on the front lines of research and treatment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in to the MHS Minute to learn more.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

'Home sweet home' leaves a sour taste for some quarantine-weary

Article
5/28/2020
Family playing board game

Mental health professionals offer tips on managing during uncertain times

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness

USU Aids Health Care Providers, Community in Pandemic

Article
5/27/2020
Image of two healthcare workers looking sad

USU’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress provides fact sheets as a resource for providers and the community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Regional Health Command-Atlantic staff treat COVID-19 patients at NJ hospital

Article
5/27/2020
Three people in scrubs around a patient on a hospital bed

The officers assigned to the program were selected because they have medical specialties typically used in military forward surgical teams.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 9) -Department of Defense Guidance for Deployment and Redeployment of Individuals and Units during the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
5/26/2020

This memorandum provides force health protection (FHP) deployment and redeployment guidance for Service members (including Reserve Component (RC) and National Guard members in a title 10 or title 32 duty status) and DoD civilian employees deploying within and outside the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with references (a) and (b).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 10

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.