Saskatchewan vet college gets new learning center

A new learning center at the University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine supports advanced learning with high-tech animal models

The University of Saskatchewan recently celebrated the completion of the BJ Hughes Center for Clinical Learning at its Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). The center was made possible by a donation from Bev Hughes, who has supported the college for many years, according to the university.

The new classroom will give students a chance to practice clinical techniques while the lab’s flexible learning space will offer the college’s faculty the opportunity to teach various levels of simulation, from running through client scenarios with actors to practicing surgical techniques on computerized models.

The animal models allow students to learn things such as placing catheters and administering fluids with an anesthesia machine, the university noted. Students are able to repeat such skills until they become proficient.

“Repetition is really what drives confidence and competence,” said Chris Clark, VetMb, MVetSc, associate dean of WCVM. “You can’t practice multiple times on an animal — that would be inhumane. But on the models, you can practice as many times as it takes.”

Students will have 24-hour access to the facility so they can practice skills on their own, outside of class time.

“The use of clinical simulation has exploded in human medicine, and veterinary medicine has really been following this trend,” said Douglas Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., dean of WCVM. “The development of this new center will place the WCVM at the forefront of these developing technologies and give our students the best learning experience possible.

“We are so thankful for the vision and drive of Bev Hughes, whose gift has put ideas into action at the WCVM.”

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