Teaching transrectal palpation of the internal genital organs in cattle
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
East Lansing, Mich.
Journal of veterinary medical education. - East Lansing, Mich.
, p. 451-460
In this article, a simulation model for rectal palpation teaching in cows, Breed'n Betsy®, is evaluated. Furthermore, the learning process of rectal palpation is depicted during a training period in live cows. In experiment 1, eight students were trained in live cows (group A) and nine students were trained using Breed'n Betsy (group B). After 25 palpations, their ability to localize and evaluate structures was evaluated in practical tests in live cows. Group A had higher results than group B (p<0.001) and were more skilled at localizing the uterus and localizing and evaluating the ovaries (p<0.05). Group B was better at pregnancy diagnosis (nonsignificant). Results suggest that Breed'n Betsy cannot fully replace training in live cows, but may be a valuable addition to the classical teaching method. Suggestions for future improvement are made. In experiment 2, 10 students were intensely trained in live cows throughout the year and evaluated in practical tests at three time points (September, January, and March). Results were analyzed as a function of time point and the category of experience (1: 050 cows; 2: 50100 cows; 3: 100150 cows; 4: 150200 cows; 5: >200 cows). Results increased in time (p<0.05) and were higher in categories 3, 4, and 5 than in category 1 (p<0.05). Although all of the students in the higher categories successfully localized the cervix, uterus, and ovaries, they had difficulties in interpreting these structures, suggesting that palpation of 200 cows is insufficient to reach a consistent level of expertise.