Problem Based Learning (PBL) to teach upper limb prosthetics

McLaughlin, Brian and Ritchie, Sophie (2009) Problem Based Learning (PBL) to teach upper limb prosthetics. In: Trent International Prosthetic Symposium 2009, 2009-05-18 - 2009-05-20. (

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The prosthetic management of upper limb amputees is often difficult and demanding. It requires a wide range of skills and a depth of knowledge that many experienced prosthetist take for granted. The variety of amputation levels, types of prostheses, residual limb shapes & sizes as well as the patients' expectations combine to make this area of prosthetics very challenging to teach. It is not possible to expose students to each and every potential scenario during their four years of undergraduate training. However it is vitally important that they enter the profession with sufficient skills to be able to effectively manage the prosthetic care of any patient that may present in the clinic. In recent years the staff of the National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics have adopted a problem based learning (PBL) approach to certain areas of upper limb prosthetic teaching. This has been done in order to equip the students with the necessary skills they will require to achieve a successful outcome for each patient, no matter how challenging. This teaching model has proved to be very successful in encouraging the students to engage in the learning process. It has also allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of the day to day challenges faced in upper limb prosthetics.