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College of Veterinary Medicine | 2005

“Computer-generated Cases for Fluid Therapy”

Richard Rawson


Students need to learn the basic scientific principles underlying fluid imbalances and develop an understanding of fluid therapy. Prior to Rawson's innovation, paper-based case studies were used to illustrate concepts. But real patients change over time and respond dynamically to intervention, and Rawson wanted a way for students to interact with a changing "patient" and practice problem-solving. He was also hoping that by running cases over again, that they would reinforce their understanding and gain confidence.

Rawson created a set of "sick dog" simulations. Students interacted with these dynamic cases -- each required the application of basic principles of assessment, diagnosis, and therapy, flexibility in the application of those principles; and the ability to adapt therapeutic plans over time. Rawson's simulations helped solidify students' understanding of the underlying science, and also engendered a sense of self-confidence in treating critically ill patients. Using the simulation students were able to improve their ability to apply basic principles with flexibility, and gain a sense for the "art" of fluid therapy.


  • STELLA modeling software
  • custom graphics


A simulation for teaching the basic and clinical science of fluid therapy

Rawson, Richard E, Marilyn E. Dispensa, Richard E. Goldstein, Kimberley W. Nicholson and Noni Korf Vidal. 2008. A simulation for teaching the basic and clinical science of fluid therapy. Advances in Physiology Education 33: 202-208.

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