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Technology lets clinicians walk a mile in consumers' shoes

October 19, 2010
by Lindsay Barba
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This past weekend, the Council on Social Work Education conference was held in Portland, Ore. And while social workers gathered to share innovations and experiences in the industry to enhance their clinical practices, attendees were in for a “real” treat from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work—a treat so real, in fact, it would look much like reality.

This is the exact purpose of USC’s Virtual Academic Center. Through virtual reality environments and patient avatars, social workers-in-training are able to walk a mile in consumers’ shoes, whether they be those of a schoolchild affected by ADHD or a veteran of Iraq suffering from PTSD.

Check out the video below to see how USC’s social work students are able to gain real-life experience before they enter the field, better equipping them for the challenge ahead.


Lindsay Barba

Lindsay Barba was associate editor of Behavioral Healthcare from 2009 to 2010.

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