Enhancement of anatomical learning and developing clinical competence of first-year medical and allied health profession students

Authors

  • Sarah A. Keim Janssen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
    • Correspondence to: Dr. Sarah A. Keim Janssen, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 986395 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-6395 USA. E-mail: skeim@unmc.edu

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  • Stephane P. VanderMeulen,

    1. Division of Physician Assistant Education, School of Allied Health Professions, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
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  • Valerie K. Shostrom,

    1. Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
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  • Carol S. Lomneth

    1. Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
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Abstract

Hands-on educational experiences can stimulate student interest, increase knowledge retention, and enhance development of clinical skills. The Lachman test, used to assess the integrity of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), is commonly performed by health care professionals and is relatively easy to teach to first-year health profession students. This study integrated teaching the Lachman test into a first-year anatomy laboratory and examined if students receiving the training would be more confident, competent, and if the training would enhance anatomical learning. First-year medical, physician assistant and physical therapy students were randomly assigned into either the intervention (Group A) or control group (Group B). Both groups received the course lecture on knee anatomy and training on how to perform the Lachman test during a surface anatomy class. Group A received an additional 15 minutes hands-on training for the Lachman test utilizing a lightly embalmed cadaver as a simulated patient. One week later, both groups performed the Lachman test on a lightly embalmed cadaver and later completed a post-test and survey. Students with hands-on training performed significantly better than students with lecture-only training in completing the checklist, a post-test, and correctly diagnosing an ACL tear. Students in Group A also reported being more confident after hands-on training compared to students receiving lecture-only training. Both groups reported that incorporating clinical skill activities facilitated learning and created excitement for learning. Hands-on training using lightly embalmed cadavers as patient simulators increased confidence and competence in performing the Lachman test and aided in learning anatomy. Anat Sci Educ 7: 181–190. © 2013 American Association of Anatomists.

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