Learning Pelvic Examination with Professional Patients
Performing pelvic examination is a vital skill to learn during gynecological and obstetrical training. It's a difficult maneuver to master as there is very little to see and more to feel and interpret. In addition, learning PE in usual clinical set-up has been found to induce lot of stress and anxiety among both the patients and the students. Students fear of hurting the patients and being judged inept, whereas patients feel embarrassed having to expose their most intimate body parts for learning purpose. This hampers effective learning. Learning PE on sedated women before surgery or on mannequins has been practiced as alternative learning models. But, they have been found to miss out on teaching the communication skills, which are as important as the palpation skills. However, there exists another model of learning PE--the professional patients, who are specially trained to act as patients and also guide the students on how to make a proper PE. They provide stress-free environment for the students to learn PE and at the same time, provide immediate feedback on each of their maneuvers. They form a complete learning model and help students to see patients as partner and not just a person seeking help.
Keywords: learning model, pelvic examination, stress, students.
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