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Teaching the Next Generation

March 17, 2021

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When you visit CEC, you will often see DVM3 or DVM4 students onsite for their equine clinical placement. In addition to clinical practice, students are also provided with many teaching and learning experiences.

In these pictures, you can see Dr Liz Tee, our Unit of Study Coordinator, explaining how to pass a nasogastric tube in an equine patient. Nasogastric intubation (NGT) is a core clinical skill in equine practice, however, there are limited opportunities for students to actually practice this skill on a live patient.

CEC formed a new collaboration with the University of Sydney’s Clinical Skills Hub and Lincoln State Memorial University to exchange simulation models between the universities. As part of this exchange, we obtained a simulated horse head model specially designed to practice passing a NGT. This model comes complete with a nasal ethmoid turbinate (a water filled balloon that pops if the stomach tube is passed incorrectly), the ability to flex the horse’s head, an oesophagus, a trachea and a “window” on the left side of the neck so students can see the stomach tube “passing down” the “oesophagus”.

The use of simulation models in both medical and veterinary medicine higher education is rapidly increasing. Simulation models are used to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and application to real-life clinical situations. While simulation models are by no means a replacement for real-life experience, they help to improve both the clinical skills and confidence of the final year students before facing the real world.

While the simulated horse head does not move, it still provides the students with an opportunity to reflect on the key points needed to successfully and safely pass a stomach tube down the oesophagus (and not the trachea). When students pass the stomach tube down a real patient, we hope that these critical points will become almost “second nature” to them, through this simulated experience that was both novel and fun!

Just another way, the CEC team is leading the way in veterinary education, animal science, and research that advances equine health and welfare to benefit the community.

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