Argus Institute, Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Argus Institute Senior Rotation - a two-week elective clinical rotation focusing on client communication and creating a supportive, collaborative and compassionate veterinarian-client-patient relationship. The purpose of this rotation is manyfold:

1. To provide opportunities for client interactions to enhance client communication skills, particularly related to end of life discussions, decision making, and highly emotional situations.
2. To use communication strategies to be fully present, non-judgmental, open, empathetic, and respectful in client interactions
3. To establish supportive, caring and compassionate relationships with clients and to advocate for client and pet needs.
4. To put self-care and work-life balance practices into place to minimize stress, burnout and compassion fatigue
5. To foster self-awareness as a tool for continued professional development and personal growth.

These learning goals are accomplished through:
1. Morning skills-focused interactive sessions.
2. Supportive interactions with VTH clients and veterinary medical teams
3. Afternoon clinical rounds
4. Simulated client laboratory
5. Daily reflective readings
6. Video reflection assignment
7. Professional self-exploration writing assignment

By completion of this rotation, you should be able to:
1. Utilize effective, empathetic, compassionate, supportive and facilitative communication skills in a variety of settings:
Stabilizing a person in crisis.
Providing basic grief education.
Facilitating decision making processes.
Conducting sensitive client present euthanasia procedures.
Following up with clients and staff as appropriate.
Providing telephone support

2. Demonstrate self-awareness:
Providing supportive, constructive and descriptive feedback to others.
Being open to feedback from others.
Debriefing clinical interactions.
Identifying areas of strength and areas for further development.
Setting learning goals.

3. Practice self-care and stress management techniques:
Reflective writing

Access to faculty, staff and students of the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Course packet
VTH and Argus Institute library
Argus Institute website
Communication skills sessions
Daily clinical rounds
Simulated client laboratory
Observations and feedback of direct client service
The key criteria for student assessment are:
Taking initiative in case involvement
Participation in skills sessions, case rounds and communication laboratory
Self-awareness
o Identifying key lessons from each case interaction
o Receptivity to feedback and providing constructive and descriptive feedback to others
o Written reflective assignments
Teamwork
Building supportive and collaborative partnerships with clients and healthcare team
o To use communication strategies to be fully present, non-judgmental, open, empathetic, and respectful in client interactions
To put self-care and work-life balance practices into place to minimize stress, burnout and compassion fatigue
The students will be under direct supervision by the Argus Institute clinical counselors all day everyday of the two-week clinical rotation and under the guidance of a veterinarian 2-4 hours/day.
A list of potential housing opportunities is provided.
Argus Institute, Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital
300 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Main office phone (970) 297-4143
(970) 297-4007
(970) 297-4201
jane [dot] shaw [at] colostate [dot] edu
Jane R. Shaw, DVM, PhD
Updated: 03/02/11