UK HealthCare

High School Students Get Hands-On Anatomy Class With Patient Simulators


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 22, 2011) — Students from Tates Creek High School in Lexington, Ky. curiously gathered around "Mr. K," a male heart simulator that focuses on the cardiovascular system, during an Honors Human Anatomy Class field trip. Mr. K, who is housed in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine's Clinical Skills Training and Assessment Center, teaches students about heart sounds, rhythms and conditions.

"The purpose of this field trip is to show students new, real-world applications of what they have learned in their class this year," said Elizabeth Inman, science and human anatomy teacher at Tates Creek High School.

At the Clinical Skills Training and Assessment Center, students worked their way through a case scenario similar to what medical students do to analyze symptoms and determine treatment of a computerized patient simulator. 

"The purpose is to give students a little insight on the correlation between basic science and clinical assessment and treatment options," said Darrin Burchell, UK's lab manager at the Clinical Skills Training and Assessment Center. "These students have been studying anatomy and physiology in their basic classes. We intended to give them an opportunity to exercise their knowledge and work through a couple of cases with us."

One of the cases involved students listening to the heartbeats of real patients programmed into the simulators allowing them to then diagnose heart valve defects. This case required students to use their knowledge of the heart's anatomy to locate and diagnose a heart condition on one of the cardiac demonstrators.

"The second case was an anaphylactic shock scenario," explained Burchell. "It involves an extreme allergic reaction. The students reasoned out the diagnosis, a treatment plan and administered that treatment on one of our patient simulators. It was a fun event; the students got some hands-on training and a taste of what health care and the training that we require is like."

The 40 students that attended the field trip also visited with Gregg Rentfrow, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UK College of Agriculture and extension meat specialist, in the UK Meats Lab. Rentfrow and his graduate students led students though anatomy and physiology through examination of an animal carcass, and gave a tour of the lab and facility with an overview of the process of livestock harvest.