Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Veterinary Clinical Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2024) | Viewed by 12297

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton 4343, Australia
Interests: veterinary pharmacology; veterinary education
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Effective communication is a hallmark of successful veterinary clinical practice. Communication underpins professionalism, establishes effective teamwork, and is essential to veterinary–client relationships. Teaching or developing effective communication is an increasingly important component of the ‘hidden’ curriculum for veterinary educators, introduced and reinforced throughout the teaching program. Effective communication is also a focus for prospective employers when considering a new graduate. Successful communication must also consider the rapidly changing modalities of how people communicate and, importantly, how important communication will be toward resilience in a highly stressful profession. This Special Issue will consider what is effective communication, how this can be ‘taught’, and the importance toward veterinary clinical practice.

Prof. Dr. Paul Mills
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • communication
  • hidden curriculum
  • professionalism
  • life skills

Published Papers (8 papers)

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13 pages, 1941 KiB  
Article
Measuring Veterinarian Professions’ Readiness for Interprofessional Learning in a Pre- and Post-Intervention Study
by Sylva Agnete Charlotte Heise, Andrea Tipold, Karl Rohn and Christin Kleinsorgen
Animals 2024, 14(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14020229 - 11 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
The integration of interprofessional collaboration is becoming increasingly crucial in veterinary care settings, emphasising the need for interprofessional education (IPE) in veterinary programmes. This study explores the readiness for interprofessional learning among German veterinary students, apprentices and related occupations before and after an [...] Read more.
The integration of interprofessional collaboration is becoming increasingly crucial in veterinary care settings, emphasising the need for interprofessional education (IPE) in veterinary programmes. This study explores the readiness for interprofessional learning among German veterinary students, apprentices and related occupations before and after an interprofessional communication course. It assesses the impact of this course on the participants’ attitudes using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). The course, offered in two iterations, combined asynchronous online modules, live seminars and practical training elements. The RIPLS was administered before and after the course to gauge attitude shifts towards interprofessional learning. Statistical analyses, including McNemar, Cohen’s Kappa and exact Fisher tests, were employed to compare pre- and post-test responses. Despite challenges in participant linking, significant findings emerged between the student and apprentice groups in specific areas of the RIPLS, notably in the “Professional Identity” subscale post-course. However, correlations between face-to-face contact and RIPLS ratings were not observed, suggesting a need for more integrated interprofessional learning experiences. While some limitations in sample size and profession distribution hinder generalisability, this study indicates a high receptiveness to interprofessional learning in veterinary education, emphasising the potential for attitude changes with more interactive participation and programme adjustments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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20 pages, 1334 KiB  
Article
Developing Communication Competency in the Veterinary Curriculum
by Ingrid van Gelderen (Mabin) and Rosanne Taylor
Animals 2023, 13(23), 3668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13233668 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1780
Abstract
Veterinary graduates require effective clinical communication skills for a successful transition to practice. The ways of teaching and assessing veterinary communication skills have developed and are increasingly supported by research. However, some students have difficulty applying the skills learned in a simulated consultation [...] Read more.
Veterinary graduates require effective clinical communication skills for a successful transition to practice. The ways of teaching and assessing veterinary communication skills have developed and are increasingly supported by research. However, some students have difficulty applying the skills learned in a simulated consultation to working with real clients, particularly in the second part of a standard consultation, where the student communicates the reasons for their clinical decision making and assists the client’s treatment decisions. The authors explore three key developments in communication skills training in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program since 2015 at the University of Sydney: (1) Workshops were designed to include communication scenarios that were contextualised in ways that embraced a spectrum of care. These were facilitated within a clinical skills laboratory, and student surveys were used to evaluate this teaching and learning activity; (2) student and facilitator perceptions of the value of online communication skills training were evaluated using surveys; and (3) perceptions of the gap between pre-clinical training and the demonstration of communication competency in authentic clinical settings were evaluated using a survey. We conclude that the communications curriculum can be made more engaging and effective by student-centred design, which increases the realism and authenticity of the student’s experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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39 pages, 727 KiB  
Article
Conversation Analysis of Clients’ Active Resistance to Veterinarians’ Proposals for Long-Term Dietary Change in Companion Animal Practice in Ontario, Canada
by Clare MacMartin, Hannah Wheat and Jason B. Coe
Animals 2023, 13(13), 2150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13132150 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
The impact of nutrition on animal health requires effective diet-related treatment recommendations in veterinary medicine. Despite low reported rates of veterinary clients’ adherence with dietary recommendations, little is known about how clients’ resistance to nutritional proposals is managed in the talk of veterinary [...] Read more.
The impact of nutrition on animal health requires effective diet-related treatment recommendations in veterinary medicine. Despite low reported rates of veterinary clients’ adherence with dietary recommendations, little is known about how clients’ resistance to nutritional proposals is managed in the talk of veterinary consultations. This conversation-analytic study investigated clients’ active resistance to veterinarians’ proposals for long-term changes to cats’ and dogs’ diets in 23 segments from 21 videotaped appointments in Ontario, Canada. Clients’ accounts suggested the proposals themselves or nutritional modifications were unnecessary, inappropriate, or unfeasible, most often based on patients’ food preferences, multi-pet feeding issues, current use of equivalent strategies, or current enactment of the proposed changes. Resistance arose when veterinarians constructed proposals without first gathering relevant diet- and patient-related information, soliciting clients’ perspectives, or educating them about the benefits of recommended changes. Veterinarians subsequently accommodated clients’ concerns more often when resistance involved patient- or client-related issues rather than clients’ lack of medical knowledge. The design of subsequent proposals accepted by clients frequently replaced dietary changes in the initial proposals with nutritional or non-nutritional alternatives and oriented to uncertainty about adherence. This study provides evidence-based findings for developing effective communication training and practice guidelines in nutritional assessment and shared decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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14 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
Application of Blended Learning to Veterinary Gross Anatomy Practical Sessions: Students’ Perceptions of Their Learning Experience and Academic Outcomes
by Olga Gómez, Maria García-Manzanares, Deborah Chicharro, Miriam Juárez, Clara Llamazares-Martín, Enrique Soriano and José Terrado
Animals 2023, 13(10), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13101666 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
The use of blended learning strategies is increasingly common in health sciences, including veterinary medicine; however, there are very few descriptions of these methods being applied to practicals. We describe here the application of blended learning based on the implementation of flipped classrooms [...] Read more.
The use of blended learning strategies is increasingly common in health sciences, including veterinary medicine; however, there are very few descriptions of these methods being applied to practicals. We describe here the application of blended learning based on the implementation of flipped classrooms with collaborative learning and gamification to the 2020–2021 veterinary medicine gross anatomy practicals at CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Spain). Students prepared for the sessions by pre-viewing videos and taking a quiz before the start. The sessions were conducted in small groups where students learned through collaborative work and reviewed their learning with a card game. A small but significant increase was observed when comparing the scores of practical exams of the locomotor apparatus with those of 2018–2019 (6.79 ± 2.22 vs. 6.38 ± 2.24, p < 0.05), while the scores were similar (7.76 ± 1.99 vs. 7.64 ± 1.92) for the organ system exams. Students’ responses in a satisfaction survey were mostly positive (>80%) regarding the motivating and learning-facilitating effect of this educational method. Our work shows that the application of blended learning in anatomy practicals based on a flipped classroom and with elements of gamification and collaborative work can be an effective way to improve the learning experience of students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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15 pages, 5879 KiB  
Article
The Application of 3D Anatomy for Teaching Veterinary Clinical Neurology
by Lidia Blázquez-Llorca, Lubna Morales de Paz, Rosario Martín-Orti, Inmaculada Santos-Álvarez, María E. Fernández-Valle, David Castejón, María I. García-Real, Raquel Salgüero-Fernández, Pilar Pérez-Lloret, Nerea Moreno, Sara Jiménez, María J. Herrero-Fernández and Juncal González-Soriano
Animals 2023, 13(10), 1601; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13101601 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
Neuroanatomy is always a challenging topic for veterinary students. It is widely accepted that understanding the anatomy of the central nervous system (CNS) is essential to explain many of the pathological processes that affect the brain. Although its study has varied over time [...] Read more.
Neuroanatomy is always a challenging topic for veterinary students. It is widely accepted that understanding the anatomy of the central nervous system (CNS) is essential to explain many of the pathological processes that affect the brain. Although its study has varied over time to achieve this goal, in human and veterinary medicine it is difficult to find a teaching method that associates normal anatomy with pathological alterations of the brain. For the first time, we have created an educational tool that combines neuroanatomy and neuropathology, using different magnetic resonance (MR) images as a basis and EspINA software as analyzer, to obtain segmented structures and 3D reconstructions of the dog brain. We demonstrate that this combination is an optimal tool to help anatomists to understand the encephalon, and additionally to help clinicians to recognize illness including a multitude of neurological problems. In addition, we have tried to see whether photogrammetry, which is a common technique in other sciences, for example geology, could be useful to teach veterinary neuroanatomy. Although we still need further investigations, we have been able to generate 3D reconstructions of the whole brain, with very promising results to date. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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12 pages, 568 KiB  
Article
Flipped Classroom to Facilitate Deeper Learning in Veterinary Undergraduate Students: An Educational Change Pilot Study Limited to the Imaging Module Bones
by Sibylle Maria Kneissl, Alexander Tichy and Sophie Felicia Mitlacher
Animals 2023, 13(9), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13091540 - 04 May 2023
Viewed by 1585
Abstract
In a flipped classroom, learners study at home and do the ‘homework’ in class. This approach respects the limitations of memory and allows more interaction between learners. The overall vision is self-paced activities for learners with decreased boredom and greater task value, which [...] Read more.
In a flipped classroom, learners study at home and do the ‘homework’ in class. This approach respects the limitations of memory and allows more interaction between learners. The overall vision is self-paced activities for learners with decreased boredom and greater task value, which should facilitate deeper learning. To implement a flipped classroom, a bumpy incremental change process characterized by periods of relative stillness punctuated by the acceleration of pace was planned. All veterinary undergraduate students used an existing eLearning platform to access relevant text and selected image examples before class. Only for the randomly selected students in the flipped classroom (FC) was this content amended with purposeful audio content and concrete tasks. Further, FC learners discussed their opinions in an online class forum. To measure the educational change, a pre- and post-class formative test and a standardized questionnaire for students in the FC versus in the traditional classroom (TC) were performed. To assess engagement, students were invited to measure all learning activities, categorized into attendance, or self-study. The educational change project resulted in more commitment and less resistance from teachers. The FC consisted of 20 students, while the TC had 40. The mean pre-class scores difference between FC students and TC students was +1.7/20 points, and the mean post-class scores difference was +3/20 points. The chance of answering item 10 of the formative test (describe site of the fracture) correctly was about seven times higher for FC compared to TC learners (OR = 6.96; p = 0.002). The questionnaire revealed more satisfaction and greater task value in the FC compared to TC (p = 0.048). FC students invested 21 h into the course on average, while TC students invested 16 h. The results of this pilot agree with previous reports: A transparent process was helpful to initiate mainly positive interactions between teachers and students. Higher scores, higher chance to give the correct answer, greater task value, and more positive emotions are observed in the FC compared to the TC. Higher measures of learning time are not expected to affect exam results but indicate more engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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20 pages, 1549 KiB  
Article
Outcome of Communication Training in Veterinary Studies: Influence on the Perception of the Relevance of Veterinary Competencies and Self-Assessment of Communication Skills
by Mahtab Bahramsoltani, Sonja Bröer, Susann Langforth, Corinna Eule, Alina Prior, Lena Vogt, Ting-Ting Li, Rebecca Schirone, Alina Pohl and Katharina Charlotte Jensen
Animals 2023, 13(9), 1516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13091516 - 30 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1337
Abstract
Since communication skills contribute significantly to professional success among veterinarians, there is a particular focus on developing communication classes in veterinary curricula. At Freie Universität Berlin, an e-learning course covering the basics of communication and a practical communication course based on role plays [...] Read more.
Since communication skills contribute significantly to professional success among veterinarians, there is a particular focus on developing communication classes in veterinary curricula. At Freie Universität Berlin, an e-learning course covering the basics of communication and a practical communication course based on role plays with and without simulation persons have been established. The outcome of these communication courses on the assessment of the relevance of several veterinary competencies and on the self-assessment of communication skills using the SE-12 questionnaire was investigated. For this purpose, students were surveyed before and after the e-learning course as well as before and after the practical course. Veterinarians were also surveyed on the relevance of veterinary competencies. The relevance of communicative competencies for professional success was rated significantly higher by the students after completing the practical course than by the other students and the veterinarians. Self-assessment of communication skills showed little increase after the e-learning course, but a significant increase after the practical course. Thus, an effective outcome of the communication classes was observed mainly after the practical course. However, the effect of the e-learning course cannot be ruled out since the students participating in the practical course have also completed the e-learning course beforehand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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20 pages, 3981 KiB  
Project Report
Evaluation of an Interprofessional Blended Learning Course Focusing on Communication within Veterinary Teams
by Sylva Agnete Charlotte Heise, Sandra Wissing, Verena Nerschbach, Ellen Preussing, Andrea Tipold and Christin Kleinsorgen
Animals 2024, 14(5), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14050729 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 652
Abstract
Based on the importance of communication and teamwork in veterinary practice, we explored the impact of a blended learning course designed to enhance interprofessional communication skills among veterinary students and apprentice assistants. The blended learning course design included online modules, synchronous (online) seminars, [...] Read more.
Based on the importance of communication and teamwork in veterinary practice, we explored the impact of a blended learning course designed to enhance interprofessional communication skills among veterinary students and apprentice assistants. The blended learning course design included online modules, synchronous (online) seminars, and simulation training sessions. The asynchronous online elements should complement the varied schedules of different professions and meet the individual needs of participants, especially considering the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The course structure, evaluations, and outcomes were documented, showing a positive impact on knowledge gain concerning communication and self-assessment in communication skills. In the pretest, the participants scored 43.18% correct answers to a knowledge test, whereas 71.50% correct answers were given in the posttest. Some participants indicated an improvement in the self-assessment of their skills. For example, before the training only 13.64% answered the question “How prepared do you feel regarding your communication skills for entering the profession?” with “Very good” or “Good”, versus 50.00% in the posttest. There were also only 22.73% of participants who agreed to having sufficient understanding of the roles of other professional groups, while in the posttest, 81.82% agreed. The evaluations highlighted positive feedback on the organization, learning environment, and overall course structure. However, challenges such as limited resources, especially time and financial constraints, influenced the implementation and ongoing development of the course. Subsequent runs of the course could gather more data to further improve the teaching of veterinary interprofessional communication. This ongoing data collection would allow continuous insights into and adjustments to the teaching methods, ensuring maximum benefit for veterinary students and apprentice assistants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Communication in Veterinary Clinical Practice)
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