Anesthesiologist students contribute to global Lifebox initiative

NSU’s Anesthesiologist Assistant students have been helping the Lifebox Initiative   —  a national non-profit organization that helps to improve the quality of surgical care in low-income countries all around the world — by making identification badge clips, which are a necessity in hospital, clinic and lab settings. The colorful badge clips, designed and decorated in the shape of everything from flowers to animals, are made and sold by Anesthesiologist Assistants — known as AA students.

Lifebox’s longterm goal is to place a pulse oximeter in every operating room across the globe, thereby reducing surgery death rates by half. These devices are essential to clinical procedures that all AA students are eventually trained in, as they provide a non-invasive method to monitor the level of oxygen in a patient’s bloodstream.

Justin Auch, a third year graduate student and the college’s American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants representative, said “When it comes to making the badges, we have a great group of students that are super creative and motivated.”

The clips, in addition to being a creative way to raise money for Lifebox, also happen to be environmentally conscious, as they are made from used pill bottle tops. The collection effort has been successful so far, as NSU has involved several local hospitals.

Lifebox fundraising events were held in the Terry Building on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons throughout November. So far, about 70 clips have been sold at $5 each, but the AA program’s goal is to raise $500, which will cover the cost of two pulse oximeters.

According to Auch, the project has taught AA students valuable skills for medical professionals.

“We have learned a great deal about how to stay organized and be efficient in our time management in order to also concentrate on the academic part of our program,” he said.

Auch and Tasha Kreuger, also a third year AA student, have been working on the project intensively this year.

Lisa Lee, president of the AA Student Government Association, said, “Both students have been key in making Lifebox a success.”

Clinical rotations for AA students began on Jan. 7, and the students hope to sell even more badge clips at their respective clinics. They are also hoping for monetary donations, which will push them towards their goal. Their fundraisers and badge clips sales will continue throughout February, in the Terry Building on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

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