A fictional veterinary hospital as a teaching tool – literature search

I have recently started working at Northern Melbourne Institute of Technical and Further Education (NMIT), where vet Dr Megan Dietze is leading the curriculum design for a new Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing degree. Hopefully taking its first students in 2014, the course will be the first of its type in Australia and allow vet nurses to obtain higher qualifications and academic status than they have previously had access to. (The only related degree available in Australia at present is the Bachelor of Applied Science (Veterinary Technology) at The University of Queensland.)

As a core focus of the curriculum we are considering the concept of a fictional hospital, for which we plan to create staff, patients and clients to use as a scaffold for learning throughout the course. This would start in the first semester by simply using some fictitious patients as examples to illustrate some basic anatomical and physiological concepts and expand in later parts of the course to be used to teach many different areas such as communication and human resources as well as acting as linked case studies through all years of the course.

Before putting a lot of resources into the idea, we are seeking evidence of the effectiveness of the model as a teaching and learning tool. Literature searches of major databases have not produced many references. Does anyone know of any literature describing similar models and their use in teaching and learning? We are aware of Pharmville, used at Monash University School of Pharmacy but no doubt there are other examples. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.


About rebekahmcbrown

I am a veterinarian with a special interest in instructional design and developing eLearning in the veterinary and medical areas. I write teaching materials for both face-to-face and online learning as well as writing and editing articles.
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One Response to A fictional veterinary hospital as a teaching tool – literature search

  1. JT says:

    The first thing I notice is “allow vet nurses to obtain higher qualifications”. This is all well and good. The difficult question is will it get them higher wages/promotions? You can hire a new graduate veterinarian for $21.58 per hour so why would you pay more for a vet nurse?

    In regards to developing a simulated model. Does it work better than having nurses in a clinic with real world experience rather than a simulation?

    Crew Resource Management in pilots has improved their communication skills significantly and reduced crashes. The other field that has far more government expenditure because ultimately society rates humans far more important than animals is medicine. So here’s a link on their training:

    Emergency Medicine Crisis Resource Management (EMCRM): Pilot Study of a Simulation-based Crisis Management Course for Emergency Medicine

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