Empowering Future Health Care Leaders

Valpo’s College of Nursing and Health Professions prides itself on providing students with cutting edge technology and resources to prepare them for fulfilling careers in health care. For example, students in the Physician Assistant (PA) program are required to participate in various rounds of hands-on workshops to develop their skills and better acclimate them to real-world situations. The latest workshop on the genitourinary system, which encompasses the organs of the genital (reproductive) and urinary systems, required students to accurately perform male and female genital exams, breast exams, and deliver a baby using the College’s high-fidelity mannequins. 

“Before taking part of this workshop, we sat together as a class to discuss the physical examination and patient history taking,” says Reeya Brahmbhatt ’25. “During this we learned about the different tools used, techniques, and watched videos to see how the exams are performed. Then, when we broke out into groups, we were able to watch our professors conduct the exams and explain how to correctly perform them.”

Our labs and resources are specially designed to duplicate real hospital settings and give our students a comprehensive learning experience that will translate into their careers. Experiential learning and hands-on labs such as these allow students to practice the concepts they learn in class to visualize and perfect them. 

 “What surprised me the most about this workshop was how fascinating it was to be able to perform a PAP smear,” says Reeya. “The whole exam felt rewarding being able to know what I was looking for and where we would normally see the abnormalities we learned about in class. It truly gave us an understanding of what we were taught.”

Valpo’s PA program offers direct admission for students which allows for unified cohorts and more one-on- one time between students and their teachers. The education that Valpo students receive in the PA program is one that is focused on placing foundational concepts and building structured clinical skills around those foundations. Students are challenged and tested on an ongoing basis to ensure that the skills they learn in class not only stick but become second nature. 

Female PA Student interacting with high fidelity mannequin.

“The mannequins were very useful for understanding the key concepts because we were able to see and feel the locations of parts, and even able to change out parts to feel abnormalities,” says Reeya. “This gives us an understanding to let us put what we learned into practice.”

Before the students take part in any hands-on workshop or lab, faculty presents and provides examples to guide and direct students accordingly. Throughout the workshop, faculty are always present if students need help, or require further instruction but overall, they allow the students to step in and take control of their experience. 

“The PA program is overall such a great community! Everyone is truly in this together and the support is unmatchable,” says Reeya. “Every professor and student in the program are willing to help you improve as a student, making this whole experience such an enjoyable time. Not to mention, going through the program in undergrad together, to being with each other every day really makes us just a big family.”

To learn more about Valpo’s PA program please visit: valpo.edu/physician-assistant-program/programs/admission/

Empowering Future Health Care Leaders