Utilization of a Clinical Simulation Center (SIMS) with First-Year DPT Students: What are the Benefits?

Purpose : To provide an acute care environment for PT students to learn psychomotor and clinical decision making skills during an initial examination. We have struggled in past years creating a realistic acute patient scenario that requires students to think critically and role play as if they are in a clinical setting. In graded practical examinations we would use students to play the role of a patient which was, from the student perspective, perceived as unrealistic and students struggled to convey the case presentation within an unconvincing setting. Teaching strategies were implemented based on this disconnect between classroom learning and how to perform in a clinical environment.Description : PT 527: Foundations of Physical Therapy Examination, Evaluation, Diagnosis is a foundational course in the first-year DPT curriculum that has didactic and lab components. The labs focus on the acquisition of clinical skills and historically have been taught in a traditional manner through demonstration of a skill by the instructor and then practice by the student. Skills are typically taught in a manner that emphasize psychomotor abilities and less on the context of the clinical environment. Feedback on this style of teaching from students, in past years, indicated that the transference of specific skill sets to the clinic can be challenging. Utilization of the SIMS center provided a connection between traditional learning and demonstration of skills within a realistic setting.Summary of Use : The integration of the University of Wisconsin Health Clinical Simulation Center (SIMS) and standardized patients for the final practical created a realistic clinical experience and gave the students the opportunity to practice in an acute environment. Since the experience was novel we opted to provide the students with two simulation opportunities; both videotaped. The first experience was a non-graded endeavor in which the students performed an initial bedside evaluation on a high fidelity manikin. This experience was non-graded to decrease student anxiety, to introduce the students to the SIMS center, and to build upon this experience for the final graded practical. The second experience was a graded practical and the students performed an initial bedside evaluation with a standardized patient. In both situations students received immediate feedback from course instructors in addition to video review.Importance to Members: Creating realistic clinical experiences for students while they are on campus is a challenge. By using a simulation center with high fidelity manikins as well as standardized patient we were able to capture the essence of an inpatient encounter. The information provided in this experience may facilitate other academicians to consider utilizing resources on their campuses to better model clinical environments. The use of technology may enhance traditional classroom teaching of clinical skills to better prepare DPT students for internships in the acute environment.

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  • Control #: 2019550
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Colleen Cobey, Susan L. Wenker, Lisa A. Steinkamp
  • Keywords: Edcuation|Simulation Center

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