Putting Theory into Practice through Hands-On Experience

By Bre Lynn Myers, Aud, FAAA

Author of Vestibular Lab Manual, Second Edition

Putting theory into practice can be one of the largest obstacles students and clinicians face particularly when the subject matter appears complicated. Guided hands on practice is necessary in order to obtain the confidence and skill set critical to properly instruct, collect, and analyze data from each test accurately.  In addition to guided practice, it is also helpful when learning something new, to have someone who is able to explain complex ideas with everyday examples. The Vestibular Lab Manual, Second Edition does both. The text begins with an overview of a well-equipped vestibular/balance lab and suggests observation and reflection as a means to begin the appreciation of vestibular diagnostics. Every student interested in learning a skill, be it in the health care field or humanities, should have an appreciation of the “final product” before beginning to dissect each part.  Following the introductory chapters, subsequent chapters break down vestibular assessment protocols piece by piece. Each chapter provides general instructions, tips, and guidance, suitable for practice with any manufacturer’s equipment.

Learning is also more fun and less stressful when you have a friend beside of you. Chapter exercises are designed to be completed with a partner or small group in approximately one hour, allowing for each participant to serve as clinical operator and “patient.” Once students complete the “guided practice” portion of the chapter, reflection and review questions or case studies are provided to reinforce theory with practice. By setting learning objectives, providing a little background and specific goals students and clinicians can move through each chapter at their own pace, freeing up lab instructors to provide specific feedback and address questions as they arise.

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