Logan Makes a Best Practice its Practice–Introducing the Human Simulator
METIman brings diagnostic assessments to life for younger trimesters.
When Trevor Farnsworth, a Trimester 7 student from Indianapolis, began his search for a chiropractic college
, he was looking for an educational program steeped in research with a modern health care approach. He found Logan College of Chiropractic/University Programs
During his early trimesters of study, Trevor learned of Logan’s new plans to construct an Educational Wing. When the wing opened this past summer, Trevor and his fellow students were introduced to the state-of-the-art Assessment Center
and two of its most important features: its director, Martha Kaeser, DC, and a best practice in clinical education, the METIman full-body human simulator.
“Honestly, I consider the Assessment Center and METIman so vital in developing my diagnostic skills that I wish I had access to them both earlier in my studies,” Trevor said. He also credits the METIman and Dr. Kaeser’s instruction with helping him better understand health care from a more comprehensive and integrated standpoint, saying he enjoys the whole view of patient care.
Originally designed to support training for medics and nurses, the programmable METIman can exhibit various pathologies. With the touch of a computer screen, Dr. Kaeser brings the human simulator to life, evidenced by METIman’s physiological and verbal responses to students’ actions.
By working with the METIman, Trevor can now, for example, assess a patient experiencing trauma, something he says he may never encounter inside a Logan clinic. The exposure to trauma cases and other complex pathologies also fosters a better understanding and appreciation of integrative health care, he said.
“METIman and Dr. Kaeser ensure that we are exposed to complex cases before we graduate,” he added. “After working with METIman, I can take a more thorough patient history, make a better diagnosis and find something that others who aren’t
exposed to this level of training might miss.”
Trevor currently isn’t required to study or train inside the Assessment Center for academic credit, but he still visits the center almost daily to interact with the METIman. Dr. Kaeser’s “Question of the Day” serves as a magnet to attract Trevor and other Logan students who can’t pass up a challenge.
“The ‘Question of the Day’ is intended to improve our diagnostic approach to cases,” explained Trevor. “The cases Dr. Kaeser offers can range from elementary to very complex pathologies. Regardless, the questions keep us up-to-date with our approaches and skill sets, and help to bridge our classroom study with clinical applications.”
Ahead of the Class
Although he’s just begun his chiropractic education, Tri-1 student Justin Viney has already experienced the value of hands-on
care thanks to the METIman.
“I know the sooner I can begin taking reports and getting hands-on experience, the better I’ll be in practice,” he said.
Justin has yet to participate in any formal classroom instruction inside the Assessment Center, but every Monday he can be found working with Dr. Kaeser and the METIman.
“On the first day of class, Dr. Kaeser visited our classroom and invited us to the center,” he said. “When I first entered the space, it was evident how technologically advanced the center is. Dr. Kaeser took the time to walk me through the Assessment Center and explain the equipment and offerings to me.”
For Justin, who was accepted to medical school with intentions of becoming a neurosurgeon, it’s important to get to the root of a patient’s health problem. The time he invests in the Assessment Center might not count for academic credits now, but he’s gaining something invaluable—the ability to one day diagnose and treat the underlying cause of a patient’s pain or dysfunction.
“Every week, I work with Dr. Kaeser and the METIman on my diagnostic skills, taking his blood pressure, temperatures, looking at X-rays,” he explained. “I chose chiropractic and Logan because I didn’t want to put a Band-Aid on a patient’s health problem—I want to get to the root of it. My early exposure to the Assessment Center and METIman is teaching me how to identify pathologies for better diagnoses and treatment.”
Justin said his experiences with the METIman and Dr. Kaeser’s case studies have also taught him another important life lesson.
“It’s easy to make mistakes,” he said. “But what’s important is figuring out why you made them and improving your skills.”
According to Dr. Kaeser, the Assessment Center provides students with a safe environment where they can practice their skills while building their confidence and clinical aptitude.
“With the touch of a computer screen, I can program the METIman to exhibit irregularities, including his heartbeat, blood pressure and respiratory rate, and complex pathologies, such as carotid and abdominal aortic arterial bruits,” added Dr. Kaeser. “This teaching tool affords students the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom by providing them with a hands-on training experience offered inside a safe and simulated environment.”
The Difference an Hour Makes
It’s only Chris Thoma’s second trimester at Logan, but he’s no stranger to patient care. When he began his health career years ago as a medical technologist, later working with the American Red Cross, he knew he was destined to spend his days helping people. However, as his career evolved, he became more intrigued by the functional side of health care and decided to study
chiropractic at Logan.
“Ultimately, I can see myself working in an integrative health setting, like a hospital, working with medical doctors to treat and refer patients in a similar fashion to Logan’s Veterans Affairs clinic model,” offered Chris.
When Chris began his classroom studies at Logan, he too was met by Dr. Kaeser who invited Chris and his classmates to explore the Assessment Center.
“After Dr. Kaeser spoke to our class, I made it my goal to dedicate at least one hour each week to working in the Assessment Center,” he said.
For Chris, his early exposure to the Assessment Center provides him one-on-one access to Dr. Kaeser and the METIman. He also counts the immediate validation of his classroom studies as one of the key benefits of practicing with the METIman during these early trimesters of study.
“I’ve spent about five weeks now working with the METIman and getting my hands on the center’s testing instruments,” said Chris. “What I can learn from the METIman could prove life changing, as I’m exposed to conditions affecting the heart or a tumor—things I may otherwise never see in Logan clinic. I don’t want my first encounter with a life-threatening pathology to occur in my future practice.”
In addition to treating patients with differential diagnoses via the METIman, Chris says the Assessment Center provides an ideal setting for practicing another critical technique: communications.
“I’m learning skills that will help improve my diagnosis and dialogue with patients and medical doctors, so I can earn their referrals and co-manage cases,” he added.
“Regardless of your trimester status, the Assessment Center should not be missed by students. The one hour I spend here each week is making a huge difference in how I will care for my future patients.”
Better, Faster Care
When a patient is in critical need, Nathan Martin doesn’t want to lose time. After working in a hospital as a lab assistant, Nathan appreciates a doctor’s ability to quickly recognize patients’ underlying symptoms and avert health crises.
With no time to lose, this Tri-1 student spends one day a week inside the Assessment Center working with Dr. Kaeser and the METIman. Nathan says his work in the center focuses on health abnormalities, including listening to the METIman when he’s programmed with breathing or heart irregularities, so he can readily identify disorders.
“At this stage of my Logan studies, the Assessment Center and METIman help reinforce what I’m learning in the classroom,” said Nathan. “I know the more experience I gain in school, the better I will be in practice.”
Before coming to Logan, Nathan practiced with a chiropractor as a licensed massage therapist. His exposure to a chiropractic clinic and hands-on patient care helps fuel his focus on efficient and accurate diagnoses.
“When I graduate, I’d like to open a multidisciplinary clinic where I can work together with osteopaths and physical therapists to offer my patients effective treatment plans,” Nathan added. “My work with the METIman will help me graduate as a confident clinician, knowing I’ve been exposed to complex pathologies and can manage these cases.”
For Dr. Kaeser, the METIman experience provides another dimension of reinforcement: It offers a daily reminder of what makes a Logan student successful in the classroom and clinic. “When students come to the Assessment Center, not because they have to be here but because they want to learn, it energizes me as an educator,” she said.
According to Dr. Kaeser, educational excellence is achieved when students have access to quality instruction, state-of-the-art equipment and emotional support. She considers METIman a critical tool for helping students unlock their clinical potential while advancing the mission of Logan and the chiropractic profession. Perhaps this is why Dr. Kaeser has made it her mission to welcome Logan students, regardless of their trimester status, to the Assessment Center where the METIman and his complex pathologies are waiting to be found.