Anaesthesia Interest Group

T-shirts for Lifebox Name: Stephanie Nill 

Event: T-shirts for Lifebox 

Amount raised: $600

We recently caught up with Stephanie Nill, a medical student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, who recently organised a fundraiser with her classmates to sell unique t-shirts in aid of Lifebox, and this is what we learned.

What motivated you to support Lifebox?

Our department has a lecture each year, the Kenneth K. Keown Memorial Lecture. In 2015 our speaker was Dr. Angela Enright speaking on the topic of “The Global Challenges of Anesthesia”. During her lecture she discussed the Lifebox organization and it has become a goal in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Missouri – Columbia to find ways to support this organization.

How did you get involved with the anaesthesia interest group at your university and what have you gained from this experience?

I joined our anesthesia interest group during my first year here at medical school – it was the one organization I was really excited about joining because I knew even then that anesthesia is what I want to do.  My involvement with this group has been invaluable, giving me a chance to work with the faculty here on projects like this one, learning about anesthesia from them, finding more ways to get involved. Our faculty introduced us to Lifebox, in fact.

You sold unique t-shirts to help raise funds for Lifebox’s work, how did you come up with this idea?

We decided to create t-shirts as a fundraiser for Lifebox because we believed they were a product that would appeal to many people here at our school. It is a practical piece of clothing, and people like to buy shirts that support a cause. We were able to sell more of these shirts by marketing them at a lower price than we might otherwise have been able to sell another item, thereby getting our message out there even more.

Why is it important for medical students to support safer anaesthesia around the world?

Safe surgical care is an opportunity available to those in our country, but it is not universal. As medical students, residents, or practising physicians working in a health system that provides monitoring as basic care, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to improve care around the world. The donation of even one device can impact the care of many and is a way to get involved in global health during a busy time in medical training. And those effects that continue to provide benefit for years after providing a monitor.

What does safer anaesthesia mean to you?

Safe care includes both successful care of the patient through surgery, and return to baseline function after surgical care. Monitoring of pulse oximetry to maintain optimum conditions improves the success of both of these goals by not only decreasing the chance of a intraoperative catastrophic event, but also decreasing the chance of heart attack, stroke, or disability.