Olds College has been teaching communication skills as a focused area of curriculum for the last 5 years. Effective laddering and building on key concepts from entry into the program to preparation for directed field studies has been the foundation for effective instruction in communication. This poster will show the laddering succession and survey results from students that participated in communication simulation labs in first and second year of the AHT program in the last 4 years. This further supports the necessity and relevance of teaching these skills to para professionals in the veterinary industry.  

We have found that students enjoy the simulated labs, despite having some anxiety about participating and many students suggest a need for more practice with these skills. Most significant negative comments focus on the lack of reality in the labs, implying that it is not “real life” and comment on the anxiety they feel about performing tasks in front of other classmates. Using the surveys as a feedback tool has allowed us to enhance current curriculum as well as create more meaningful simulations for students to participate in. While this information is not part of a formal study or research project, there is merit in sharing best practices and supporting the inclusion of communication skill development in the programs dedicated to paraprofessionals in the veterinary profession.

Taylor, Becky AHT Program Olds College Alberta, Canada