Veterinary technology/nursing student perceptions of an experiential simulated client communication workshop
Effective communication skills are highly desirable attributes for veterinary support personnel. These skills can be developed through experiential learning activities. This study evaluated the impact of an experiential simulated client communication workshop on final year veterinary technology/veterinary nursing student perceptions of competence related to a variety of communication skills by administering a pre- and post-workshop questionnaire. In the workshop, students had the opportunity to interact with actors playing the roles of clients within the context of common veterinary practice scenarios. Each interaction was followed by personal reflection from the student and peer, actor and facilitator feedback based on a student-led agenda. Following completion, when compared with pre-workshop responses, students were significantly more confident that they could utilize a range of professional and relationship-centred communication skills of relevance to veterinary practice. Almost all respondents indicated that the workshop was an enjoyable and valuable learning experience that helped to prepare them for the ‘real world’ following graduation. Results from this study may be of interest to institutions developing or enhancing strategies used for client communication skills training for veterinary support personnel.
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