Allied Health Faculty and Staff Train for Poverty Simulation

Posted on May 17, 2023 by CAHP

Community Action Poverty Simulation Training data-lightbox='featured'

The University of South Alabama Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions hosted a Community Action Poverty Simulation training for college faculty and staff on May 15-16.

The Community Action Poverty Simulation is an interactive experience that offers a better understanding of the impact poverty has on many individuals and families. Participants spend an hour role-playing a month in poverty. Every 15 minutes represent a week’s time.

During the two days of training, faculty and staff learned about the simulation, its mission, and how to participate as individuals living in poverty and as people working for businesses and organizations that are commonly used by community members including a bank, a pawn shop, a childcare center, a healthcare center, utilities, a public school, social services, and several others.

The second day of training focused on the implementation of the Community Action Poverty Simulation and included the help from students in the Departments of Physical Therapy and Radiologic Sciences. The nearly 50 students were split into groups and given specific scenarios to role-play and experienced a simulation of the daily struggles of people in poverty.

Students were challenged to find the time and money to support their families with limited resources and unexpected challenges while faculty provided the many pressures that everyday needs and community services bring including grocery expenses, transportation costs, utility bills, rent payments, childcare and medical visits.

After the simulation, students shared that the experience left them stressed, overwhelmed and confused. Emotions that people in poverty experience every day.

“The goal of the Community Action Poverty Simulation is to give our students the opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of what their patients may be experiencing on a daily basis,” said Dr. Susan Gordon-Hickey, dean of the Covey College of Allied Health Professions. “We want to train them to not only be competent clinicians, but to also truly care about their patients’ quality of life.”

The Community Action Poverty Simulation will be implemented further during the fall semester of the 2023-2024 academic year and offered to allied health students in undergraduate and graduate programs.

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