August 2011 Archives

Project: Genetics Pedigree

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Challenge: Augsburg College's Physician Assistant program joined with the University of Minnesota's School of Nursing Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner programs to develop a module on how family histories can be translated into genetic pedigrees. In the hands of health professionals with training in genetics, pedigrees can inform about the risk of disease as well as a patient's medical screening needs. An additional learning outcome for this module is the focus upon maintaining sensitivity to ethical and social issues while interviewing patients.

Solution: The AHC Learning Commons developed a website (available at ) with various interactions to help learners gain an understanding of the topic:

  • An introductory presentation with self-assessments of the key points covered
  • Videos of a patients being interviewed for a genetic pedigree
  • Learners' creation of pedigrees based on information in video interviews.

Impact: This module helps introduce a variety of health professionals and health sciences students to the process of developing genetics pedigrees. A highly interactive learning experience has been used that reflects what learners can expect to experience in practice. The module's audiences include:

  • Doctoral and Master's degree students in genetics and other basic sciences and research
  • Year 1 and 2 medical students participating in genetics labs and clinical rotations
  • Students and faculty in the Augsburg College PA program, U of M School of Nursing Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner programs
  • Students and faculty in other institutions in similar programs.

Through the step-by-step practice gained in this module, learners should be able to actively apply what has been learned in clinical practice.