A partnership between Washington State University’s two colleges prepares students undergoing athletic training for the most challenging times in their careers.
For the past four years, the College of Veterinary Medicine has collaborated with the School of Education to provide case-based simulations for exercise training students through our Simulation-Based Education Program. The Veterinary Medicine Simulation Program is the first and only program in veterinary medicine accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
Athletic trainers are multidisciplinary medical professionals who have received special training in the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical conditions and emergency, acute and chronic injuries. Case-based simulations provide an important source of training for a wide range of subjects, from heated interactions with coaches to farmers being injured on the job.
The simulation includes trained role players (simulated participants), a facilitator faculty member, and up to four peers observing from different rooms through magic mirrors. Similar to the simulations offered to WSU veterinary students, students interact alternately with simulated participants. For students, it feels real.
Katie Lukes, a final year student in WSU’s Athletic Training Program, said: “The situation really applies to real life.”
Following the simulation, students report on how the interaction went with the facilitator and peers and what could be done to improve. Sessions are also video recorded for students to watch for themselves.
“When you’re in the moment, you don’t necessarily have to think about whether your organization has any meaning or whether you’ve omitted something, your speaking rhythm, your tone. and have the opportunity to reflect on ourselves [on video] It gives us a better sense of what we don’t always understand,” said Lukes.
Students like Luke, who are pursuing a degree in athletic training, participate in one simulation each semester during the final three years of a five-year master’s program at the College of Education.
Cases focus on a variety of real-world medical and communication challenges and go deeper later in the programme. By participating in simulations, students gain valuable skills that they can use in future professional endeavors.
“Seeing yourself doing something gives you the confidence and belief that you’ve done it before, so you can do it again,” said Lukes.
WSU’s Director of Simulation-Based Education, Julie Cary, said the partnership between the two universities began almost a decade ago, and Phyllis Erdman, now Senior Vice Dean of Academic Affairs at the College of Education, is leading Simulation-Based Education. It all started when we used simulation in collaboration with Her educational psychology course.
“For us, it’s part of the community,” says Cary. “We are his two primary medical professionals on this campus, who happen to have expertise in this area, so it makes sense to work together.”
Cary says there is always a place for simulation in education, regardless of curriculum.
“Think about the things we struggle with when we are fresh out of school. It’s a trickier factor, like whether to do it,” says Cary. “Preparing learners to have a degree of confidence and competence in these skills will help them succeed.”