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A bag of bones provides a silver lining during the pandemic

When the DPT program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was planning for this summer’s anatomy class, they knew two things:

  1. They needed to shift their cadaver lab online.
  2. Many PT students are kinesthetic learners.

So they provided students with computer-based learning, but they wanted to figure out a tactile way for their students to appreciate and understand the connection between structures in the body’s anatomy.  The solution: A bag of bones.
DPT program director Wendy Huddleston searched Amazon and found disarticulated skeletons.  To save costs, she divided the bones in half so that everyone received either right or left arm and leg bones. She split the "single" bones evenly between the two kits.
The students were in for a surprise when they did curb-side pick-up for their PT exam kits and nametags.  Their Bag-O-Bones initially slightly scared and intrigued many students!  But after working with the bones to understand the relationship between muscle attachments and other connections, the students asked to keep the bones for their upcoming biomechanics class. 
During COVID-19, students aren’t allowed to share models for hygiene purposes, so the individual set of bones has helped.  “The students love using the 3D models to learn about the body and how it’s all connected,” says Dr. Huddleston.  It helps with their clinical techniques and practice.  “We’re excited to find a new learning method that resonates with our students – and we plan to use it post-COVID.  One silver lining during the pandemic!”

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