Students at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) spend a significant amount of time in the first three years learning about clinical communication in simulated client experiences; however, there is no formal communications component in the final fourth year program. Standardized clients are routinely leveraged in simulated communication scenarios in many veterinary curricula, including at UCVM. The purpose of the study was to determine if the use of simulated clients in dental cases, where the owner is absent, enriched communication experiences in final year dental rotations. Two UCVM dental rotations (small animal and equine) provided the opportunity for each student in the rotation to interact with simulated clients while diagnosing and treating two dental patients. For each of the cases, students anonymously scored and commented on their experience. Simulated clients also completed an evaluation of each student’s communication performance. In the small animal rotation, two thirds of the students felt that they would like to have more opportunity to work with simulated clients for admissions and discharges. Forty-four percent of students (equine and small animal combined) inadvertently self-identified as unconscious incompetents in clinical communication. Other observations included student challenges in obtaining informed consent, discussing financial costs and relating discharge instructions to simulated clients. By utilizing simulated clients to enrich owner-absent clinical dental cases, some areas of communication weakness in the curriculum were identified. In addition, the unique combination of client simulation, real cases, and reflective surveys allowed instructors to identify the students’ stage of communication competence and self-awareness of their skills.
Poster presented at the 5th International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference, 10-12 April 2017, held at the Intundla Conference Venue, Pretoria, South Africa.
InVeST Proceedings 201726 Proceedings of the 5th International Veterinary Simulation in Teaching Conference held by the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, 10-12 April 2017, Intundla Conference Venue, Pretoria, South Africa.