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Giving pre-med students hands-on clinical training

Written by | 2 Jul 2024 | Occupational Health

A group of pre-medical students received valuable hands-on clinical training during a workshop in the new Smart Hospital at The University of Texas at Arlington.

The Clinical Experience Workshop allowed 10 pre-med students to participate in experiential activities and to interact one-on-one with “patients” portrayed by students from the UTA Department of Theatre Arts.

“This was a clinical opportunity for pre-med students with no clinical background to be immersed in clinical medicine, learn basic skills, and experience actual patient encounters with simulated patients who were actually trained UTA theater students,” said Steve Gellman, College of Science pre-med consultant and co-director of the minor in medical humanities and bioethics program.

Students learned how to check vital signs, start an intravenous line, and deliver a baby by using lifelike manikins in the state-of-the-art Smart Hospital. They also received instruction on various medical procedures and participated in virtual-reality exercises in the Smart Hospital’s simulation lab.

During the live patient portion of the workshop, each theater student portrayed a patient with specific symptoms that the pre-med students had to diagnose.

“The workshop was so much fun—for the students and staff. There was universal agreement that this was a valuable and memorable experience that will have a lasting impact on the participants,” Gellman said. “Experiential learning is an excellent path toward meaningful and lasting education, especially for teaching the important humanities aspect of patient care.”

The workshop, which was made possible by funds from the UTA Libraries Department of Experiential Learning and the College of Science, is just one of the many ways UTA and the College of Science help prepare students for medical and other health professions schools.

UTA’s Office of Health Professions offers test prep classes, a pre-med preceptorship program, career information events featuring professionals from various fields, an annual Health Professions Fair, a graduate school advisory program, and more. It also oversees the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP), which was created by the Texas legislature to help highly qualified economically disadvantaged students pursue a medical education.

Another popular program the office offers is an emergency medical technician (EMT) class that allows students to earn an EMT certification via a hybrid online and in-person class. The class is offered in partnership with UT Dallas and University Emergency Medical Response.



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