Abilene team claims clinical skills title

Hayden Stewart and Hayley Brazeale were selected as the top overall team in TTSSHP's annual Clinical Skills Competition.

 Hayden Stewart and Hayley Brazeale

Hayden Stewart and Hayley Brazeale

The Texas Tech Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TTSSHP) held its annual Clinical Skills Competition Sept. 14 and 16. Two-member teams representing each School of Pharmacy class and all four of the school’s campuses participated in the event.

Abilene fourth-year (P4) students Hayden Stewart and Hayley Brazeale were selected as the top overall team. The win advances them to the National Clinical Skills Competition Dec. 2-7 in Orlando, Florida at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist’s (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting.

Lubbock P4s Ballard Saul and Tori Swenson finished second place overall and Dallas P4s Hasanthi Vallabhaneni and Melissa Mathew placed third overall. The top teams for each class included P1s Princy John and Leia Gaddis from the Amarillo campus; P2s Devyn Pontzer and Kingsley Ugoji from Amarillo; and P3s Nicki Moreno and Neely Hudson from Amarillo.

Stewart, who also competed as a P2 and P3, already had plans to attend the ASHP Midyear Meeting to explore residency opportunities. She said the complimentary registration fee that goes winning the TTUHSC contest is icing on the cake.

“I participate in the clinical skills competition because I enjoy testing my knowledge and being able to identify my strengths and weaknesses,” Stewart said. “This is the first year that I have competed and advanced to the local finals, and it’s the first time I have been a part of a team that placed first overall.”

Brazeale competed in state-level clinical skills competitions hosted by the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists in her P2 and P3 years. Though her team didn’t place in those competitions, she was eager to compete at the local level this year to see how the competitions differ. 

“Competitors gain so much from participating though practice and clinical development,” Brazeale explained. “I signed up because I’ve watched my peers compete in past years and they had so much fun with it. I’m so excited that we get to continue competing on the national level against other qualified teams from across the country.”

Brazeale and Stewart said preparing for these types of competitions is difficult because the team’s case can include any disease state. The overall clinical experiences they gained through rotations and practice helped them build knowledge and clinical judgment they needed to compete at a high level.

“For the national competition, I'm sure Hayley and I will discuss our areas of weakness and work to review and prepare for those topics beforehand.” Stewart added. 

Stewart said winning means that she and Brazeale simply had what it took on this particular patient case to have a competitive edge over the other TTUHSC teams.

“On another day, and with a different patient case, I honestly think the competition results could have gone another way,” Stewart said. “This competition requires skill, but it also requires a bit of luck when it comes to what topic is chosen for the case and I think we had luck on our side this time.”

Brazeale said she and Stewart appreciate TTUHSC and the School of Pharmacy for providing students with the knowledge and experience that gives them the confidence to enter competitions against other pharmacy schools.

“We’re both so grateful for the opportunity to represent TTUHSC in such a prominent way,” Brazeale said. “We’ll do our best in the national competition; we are very excited to represent our school and we hope to make everyone proud.”

Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.

School of Pharmacy


The School of Pharmacy was established in 1996 and now has campuses in Amarillo, Lubbock, Dallas and Abilene. Since its inception, the school has played a significant role in addressing the state's pharmacist shortage. Today, more than 90 percent of its graduates remain in Texas.

The school requires its students to complete more clinical training hours than any other pharmacy program in the country, making its students some of the most sought after graduates.