People often say “practice makes perfect.” For Physician Assistant (PA) students in Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, “practice” has reached a whole new level thanks to the renovation of the History and Physical Assessment Laboratory into a SimCenter that is equipped with two computerized manikins that can simulate an array of health conditions — from a simple case of asthma to full cardiac arrest.
Also included in the SimCenter are two inpatient hospital rooms for the manikins and two enclosed examination rooms that will allow one or more students to interact with volunteer patients, as well as have their session videotaped for assessment purposes.
Mike Roscoe, assistant dean, chair and associate professor of Butler’s PA program said one of the reasons to convert the laboratory into a SimCenter was to allow the PA faculty to better assess a student’s patient knowledge.
“With the exception of a few opportunities to work at an off-campus simulation center, Butler PA students get most of their patient experience during their third-year rotation experience where a preceptor is responsible for assessing their knowledge,” Roscoe said. “Now, we can assess a student’s knowledge through both real people and simulated persons. It really takes our education to a whole new level.”
Roscoe, who wrote the proposal for the SimCenter, also saw it as an opportunity to advance Interprofessional Education, or IPE, which often is defined as students learning from other students who are representing different health professions.
Roscoe said he eventually wants Butler’s PA and pharmacy students to work on the manikins together and assess the patient as a team. “Our students need to be learning with, from and about each other, and develop plans together like they do in a hospital setting,” he said.
Further into the future, he would like to bring in medical students, physical therapy students, nursing students and students studying social work to learn from the manikins. And, one day, use the center for CPR training for Butler students and employees.
“This new center allows us to entertain collaborations and ideas we have never been able to before. It really sets the tone for the University that we are committed to innovation and experiential learning, and — more importantly — that we are invested in our students.”
Media contact: Courtney Tuell