Anesthesiology 250 Enhanced Learning Activity: An Innovative Approach to Teaching

Anesthesiology 250 Enhanced Learning Activity: An Innovative Approach to Teaching

January 03, 2023

By Mitchell Jared De Silva

Last October 28, 2022, the UP College of Medicine Class of 2025 attended the Enhanced Learning Activity spearheaded by the Division of Pain Medicine of the Department of Anesthesiology at Buenafe Hall. It was an eventful day as two batches of the class came in the morning and afternoon. To formally start the program, the course coordinators, Dr. Dominic Villa and Dr. Evangeline Villa, along with their Department Chair, Dr. Grace Anne Herbosa, warmly welcomed and oriented the participants. Afterwards, the students were grouped and assigned to take turns in visiting five prepared stations. Equipped with visual aids, machines, and other complementary materials, each station uniquely presented a series of topics essential in the field of anesthesiology and pain medicine. As a review, questionnaires were also administered before and after each session. It was an appropriate medium to assess the accomplishment of the set primary objectives.

For the first station, the department prepared a section on the concepts behind sonoanatomy, better known as ultrasound imaging, as well as its proper use. Ultrasound machines were readily available in the station for appropriate demonstration. After a brief introduction, students were oriented on the different parts of the equipment and were soon provided the opportunity to use the device. Under the guidance of the attending lecturers, Dr. Joniday Nieva and Dr. Rommel Manderico, participants learned how to handle and differentiate the types of ultrasound probes and were taught the basics on reading a sonogram. The exposure to the station was a fitting preface for the rest of the stations, as it complemented the other relevant procedures to be discussed, such as in the case of peripheral nerve blocks.

The peripheral nerve block station featured a comprehensive presentation by Dr. Karmi Margaret Marcial and Dr. Dwight Siazon, which encapsulated the key concepts of the procedure. As an introduction, there was a volunteer who acted as a patient with a chief complaint of knee pain, paving the way for the rest of the discussion. Several video demonstrations were shown to instruct the students on the necessary steps in preparation for the peripheral nerve block. From the use of nerve stimulators as well as the selection of local anesthetics, the station was able to showcase the process behind the aformentioned procedure.

Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) through intravenous and epidural routes was the main topic for the third station. The session with Dr. Kim Epino and Dr. Ulrica Forbes began with the discussion of the PCA machines, the specific medications used, and the significant doses needed. It was then followed by a thorough step-by-step video guide on how to access the devices. With the assistance of the station instructors, the students were given the time to explore and use the intravenous and epidural PCA machines. It was a notable experience shared by all the attendees mainly because it is one of the first rare instances wherein the students were given the opportunity to handle such refined equipment for the first time.

The fourth station directed the learning course on the topic of neuraxial analgesia. Similar to the setup of the previous stations, the session began with the introduction of the subject by Dr. Emmanuell Villano and Dr. Angelo Realina. The different analgesic techniques, primarily the spinal and epidural blocks, were extensively taken up. Relevant anatomic landmarks were also reviewed using the Department of Anatomy’s Virtual Human Dissector, greatly aiding in visualizing the insertion process. Moreover, the specifics of the equipment needed, from the type of needles to the catheters, were also highlighted. To complement the lecture, some of the items used for the procedure were passed around the group for closer evaluation and appreciation.

For the last station, the department, headed by Dr. Dominic Villa and Dr. Evangeline Villa, arranged different activities to cover the topic of acupuncture and complementary medicine. Unlike the other stations, it took on a more holistic approach towards presenting the intended lesson. Upon entering the aromatherapy-perfused room, students were greeted with brewed coffee or tea, and several food treats, significantly setting the tone for the rest of the session. Acupuncture, herbal remedies, and even virtual reality were discussed. Some students were even able to try acupuncture themselves towards the end of the session. The participants were then acquainted with the Department’s newly launched e-book, Compaindium, an assembled collection of work featuring the creative outputs of the UPCM LU 5 students for the past two-and-a-half years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Presentations ranged from musical performances, written poetries, and artworks, to the varying personal hobbies and specialties of the students. While the videos were being shown, electric massage devices and even a personal service from a licensed massage therapist were made available for students to enjoy. The station undoubtedly managed to demonstrate the other ways to address pain that are often overlooked. Through such efforts, the attendees were able to experience firsthand the relief provided by these methods.

The enhanced learning activity served as the culminating program for the Anesthesiology 250 module. Catering to over 170 students, it was a successful and prolific way to supplement learning. Whether it involved the format of demonstrating procedures, allowing for the use of the equipment, or setting up interactive platforms, the organizers had evidently shown tremendous effort in guaranteeing a worthwhile experience for all participants.

In the midst of a transitional period from an online to a hybrid or even a complete face-to-face setup, the department boldly takes on the challenge of developing a new approach to education. Despite the limited timeframe and existing limitations, the activity was able to make the most out of the opportunity by maximizing the use of all available resources.

It may still take a while before the resumption of the same format of pre-pandemic learning. However, as we adapt to the new normal, it is crucial that new means of instruction are continuously discovered and integrated into the system. The Enhanced Learning Activity by the Department of Anesthesiology definitely offered a fresh take on a possible mode of teaching — one that can hopefully serve as a prime standard or an inspiration for others to develop a way of their own.