Getting a reaction out of eighth-graders in an educational setting isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish, so the human patient simulator and the rest of the A.T. Still University (ATSU) table were clearly a hit at Wednesday’s STEAM Career Exploration event in Kirksville, Missouri.
ATSU-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) and Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) representatives met with hundreds of eighth-grade students from northeast Missouri schools during the event hosted by the Northeast Missouri STEAM Summit and Northeast Regional Professional Development Center at Truman State University.
Kristin Blunk, MBA, ATSU-MOSDOH director of student services, said some of the basic University goals for the event were getting the ATSU name out there and showing off some of the career paths available. Event organizers noted it’s a critical time in students’ academic lives, as they begin to plot a path through high school and consider future opportunities.
“It is a nice way to connect with them,” Blunk said. “The kids seem amazed that these opportunities are here.”
Blunk brought waxing models for students to practice tooth restorations. Students were surprised to learn the amount of precision involved.
“These students have commented that you need a real steady hand,” Blunk said.
Lisa Archer, RN, BSN, director of simulation & performance assessment, worked with students on the human patient simulator. The students were fascinated.
“You can see their faces light up with the ‘wow’ moment when they see the pupils constrict, and dilate, or when they actually hear the lung or heart sounds with the stethoscope, or when they feel the pulses,” Archer said.
Rob Long, simulation center operations specialist, provided students information on the technical side of things, explaining how individual programs are written for the simulators to present different challenges to medical students. Hannah Morse, ATSU admissions counselor, helped students with information about the steps they’d need to take before applying to the University.