University Clinical Skills & Simulation Center
Occupational Therapy Program
The Department of Occupational Therapy has integrated simulation educational experiences into the entry level graduate curriculum. Department faculty collaborate with UCSSC team to develop and produce innovative simulation experiences for the occupational therapy students. Simulation is a new instructional method in health professions curriculum. The Department of Occupational Therapy is taking the lead on developing innovative educational experiences and reliable and valid methods of evaluating the effectiveness of simulation as an instructional method.
Key Points in Department of Occupational Therapy Simulation Experiences
- First year students administer a standardized assessment of mental functions to a simulated patient in the evaluations process course.
- Second year students perform therapeutic activities with two different simulated patients as part of the occupational therapy intervention lab course. For example, students may conduct a treatment session that involves bathroom safety, transfers in/out of the tub, and on/off the toilet that involves a patient with Parkinson’s disease.
- Student-simulated patient encounters are videotaped. Each student receives a DVD recording of their encounter. Students use these recordings to assess their own competence, skills and professional behaviors in simulated clinic settings. Self assessment and refection helps students build their clinical reasoning skills. Students also receive feedback regarding their interpersonal and professional skills from the simulated patient.
- Videotapes of expert occupational therapy evaluation and intervention with simulated patients are integrated into learning activities into a number of occupational therapy courses in the curriculum.
- Occupational therapy students have the opportunity to participate in several interprofessional educational experiences using simulated patients during their academic career.
Examples of Student & Faculty Evaluation of the Simulation Experience
“The simulated experience gave me the opportunity to take what I learned in class and use it in the session.”
“I enjoyed testing my ability as a therapist.”
“I liked being able to practice one on one with a person I do not know. This really made me feel as if I was out in the clinic.”
“…the simulated patient experience was a unique and impactful opportunity for students that would be hard to duplicate through any other type of classroom activity.”
“Overall, the simulated patient experience offered a new and extremely valuable dimension for learning the process of occupational therapy evaluation.”
E. Adel Herge
OTD, OTR/L, CHES