The Learning Center provided a human patient simulation experience to the Summer Health Professionals Education Program (SHPEP) in June. This SHPEP program is a residential, academic enrichment program for underserved/underrepresented, economically disadvantaged, and/or rural undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing healthcare careers. LSU School of Medicine participates in the program by including four hours of simulation lab exercises that allow students to experience the medical education environment.
During the interactive session in the simulation lab, students were exposed to the basics of the cardiovascular system with emphases on cardiac anatomy, circulation, and events in the cardiac cycle, in addition to learning about normal and abnormal heart sounds associated with cardiac conditions. The second practice part of the day was dedicated to practicing cardiac auscultation on the mannequins. Students gained the ability to recognize normal and abnormal sounds and differentiate systolic and diastolic murmurs. Nicole, a SHPEP participant, said “The simulation experience was so cool and very interactive. I really enjoyed using the stethoscope and listening to the simulator as if it were a real patient.”
To reinforce anatomy and physiology of the heart, the students were given the opportunity to see an echo cardiogram and an ultrasound image of a live beating heart.
“As undergrads, we’re not often hands-on. This program and exposure to the Learning Center allows us to get exposure to real life situations that will ultimately benefit us in the future,” said Erika, a SHPEP participant.