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ACC-Ontario Respiratory Therapy Students Tour Pulmonary Function Lab


Usually, students are told to think outside of the box, but this October respiratory therapy students from American Career College-Ontario were encouraged to get into the box.

Led by instructor Jenny Ventura, the respiratory therapy students visited the pulmonary function test lab at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage to see and experience some of the tests they will perform as professionals working in the field.

While at the lab, students were encouraged to step inside a "body box" and take various body plethysmography tests.

"The test shows how much air is in your lungs after you take in a deep breath," Ventura said. "It can tell you if you have lung damage from being exposed to substances in your environment, if you are able to tolerate surgery, and also shows the extent of a pulmonary disease."

Ventura said the body box is also used to measure the severity of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma or cystic fibrosis. Via the pulmonary functions test, Ventura said, the RT is able to gather more information and determine a plan of care. Respiratory therapists do not make diagnoses from the test, she added, but send the results to a medical doctor for further evaluation.

"The trip was very beneficial for the students because they were able to tour a PFT lab and experience the type of tests a patient undergoes," Ventura said. "We don’t have a body box on campus so it was a great way to show them what a PFT respiratory therapist does."

ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.

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