Salus University building simulation lab to train physician assistants in pandemic

Medical students
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, is building a new simulation lab to make sure physician assistant students can learn the best way to treat patients while on campus.

The lab will give students the opportunity to meet simulated patients in a setting that looks just like a doctor's office, according to Donna Agnew, director of the university's Physician Assistant Program.

"Students will learn how to elicit a history from a patient, learn how to perform the accurate technique of exams. They will be able to learn some of the softer skills of medicine — not just what comes from a medical knowledge base, but also cultural competency and the ability to care for a patient and understand what the patient's chief concern is, not just the presenting chief complaint."

She says students are to be on campus for part of the time in the fall semester. They will take lectures on-line but do hands on learning in the classroom, even during the pandemic ​

Agnew says the eight lab offices will have video recording capability so students can review how they handled each interaction. Until now, students had to use similar labs downtown, at Jefferson and Temple universities.

The lab is funded by a $500,000 state grant and money from the university. It's expected to open in October.