Preparing our students for practice just took a giant step into the future. The new Center for Innovative Clinical Practice on the San Marcos campus is providing realistic environments for faculty and students to experience clinical scenarios. Students have unparalleled opportunities to practice techniques and apply them in realistic, inter-professional environments—home, hospital, and clinic—that test their skills in communication, problem solving, clinical analysis, and critical thinking. For faculty, it is an opportunity to enhance the curriculum and add to the scant literature on simulation in PT and OT education.
With 16 beds in the inpatient ward, students don’t wait long for a turn practicing assessment, diagnostics, and treatment. They role play as patient and practitioner to learn what it’s like to be both. Simulations create a safe, faculty-guided environment where they can make mistakes and learn without putting real patients at risk.
Faculty can record sessions to debrief students following a simulation scenario on what went well and what can be improved, which helps students become reflective learners who consider their performance and interactions in various scenarios.
The activities of daily living (ADL) room has a fully operational kitchen, bedroom, dining area, garage, closet, bathroom, and living area where students can practice everything from shower transfers to modifications that will help their future patients live independently. There are also assessment rooms and an observation and briefing room.
Even with all of this, it’s just the beginning. The center will include high-tech manikins that provide heart, lung, and other sounds, can be operated remotely, and display patient vitals. Similar centers are being designed for the other campuses.