Interdisciplinary collaboration between departments enriches learning experience

The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance recently collaborated with the university’s Athletic Training program in the Department of Health and Exercise Science for an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) session on March 26.

Gordon Hensley, professor of Theatre Arts Education, used makeup to mimic open wounds, fractures and MRSA to give athletic training students a believable and gruesome simulation. 

Hensley recruited theatre students to act as patients, who were then trained to provide a standardized experience by Laurie Rivera, senior lecturer in the Department of Health and Exercise Science. 

According to Dr. Ashley Goodman, associate professor and director of the Athletic Training Professional Program, this was a perfect opportunity for the theatre students to hone their improv and off-stage acting skills as well as provide the athletic training students a chance to practice different situations. 

Athletic training students were given a short paragraph on their scenario to read and had 10-15 minutes to access and treat their patient during the simulation.

Scenarios included a cricket player who was struck in the eye with the ball, a soccer goalkeeper who was stepped on during a game and a patient with a spider bite who developed MRSA.

The OSCE will become a major assessment tool for the Beaver College of Health Sciences in the future with the launch of the Master of Science in Athletic Training beginning in the summer of 2020.

By Caroline Lubinsky

About the Department of Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.

About the Beaver College of Health Sciences

Appalachian's Beaver College of Health Sciences opened in 2010 as the result of a strategic university commitment to significantly enhance the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities in North Carolina and beyond. In 2015, the college was named for an Appalachian alumnus and pioneer in the health care industry — Donald C. Beaver ’62 ’64 of Conover. The college offers 10 undergraduate degree programs and six graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders; Health and Exercise Science; Nursing; Nutrition and Health Care Management; Recreation Management and Physical Education; and Social Work. Learn more at

About Appalachian State University

As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Student with simulated facial injury
Published: Apr 2, 2019 3:56pm