EnMed faculty recently acquired new equipment to help enhance the respiratory physiology class for first-year students.
The new devices include a plethysmograph, chest drainage systems, spirometers, lung simulators and ventilators. Two of the ventilators received were provided by JamVent, a company that markets a low-cost emergency ventilator developed by researchers at Imperial College of London in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Reza Langari, professor in the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, developed and provided an instructional version of the JamVent that makes signal and air pathways easily traceable. These new devices will help students integrate the mechanical concepts learned in their engineering classes with physiology principles learned in their medical courses.
During the class, EnMed students will learn how to use the ventilator, assemble chest drainage and spirometry kits in small groups and demonstrate different pulmonary measures and outputs. According to Dr. Ian Murray, associate instructional professor for the respiratory block at EnMed, this enhancement will directly connect the students to real-life medical scenarios that require use of the devices while also facilitating an immersive team-based learning experience.
“The goal is to demonstrate the function of these devices and relate them back to abstract, basic respiratory physiology concepts,” Murray said. “EnMed students will observe ventilator readouts that, through connection to a lung simulator, will mimic restrictive and obstructive diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung disease. This experiential activity blends and integrates both engineering and physician knowledge to create physicianeers for future emergent needs.”
Murray will present this new teaching innovation at Texas A&M’s 2021 Transformational Teaching and Learning Conference on April 30. Drs. Nick Sears, David Zawieja and Burton Dickey are co-authors on the project.