April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and Friday, OU-Tulsa faculty held a specialized child abuse simulation and training exercise.
The Tandy Education Center is dedicated entirely to teaching students who plan on going into the medical field.
Friday's exercise used theatrical situations geared to teach nursing and medical students who participated what to look out for and how to talk to families.
Every 10 seconds a child is abused; that's according to Child Help, an organization geared toward prevention and treatment of child abuse.
Physical abuse leads the way but is closely followed by sexual abuse.
"The purpose of today was sort of two fold - to teach them how to work in a team but also to teach them how to identify child abuse in a clinic setting," said Julie Miller-Cribbs with the OU Social Work Department.
For a couple hours, nursing students filled the OU Tandy Education Center exam rooms to conduct mock evaluations.
Actors stood in as parents and the goal was to talk to the parents and examine the child.
Miller-Cribbs said, "I think anything we can do the teach students who will be future healthcare providers, or work in clinics or schools, how to identify and talk to families where they think abuse might happen is the best thing we could be doing."
She said spotting child abuse is an important job everyone must take on.
"Not being detectives, but when we get that gut feeling that something might not be right, asking people if they are OK, asking your neighbor if they need, help asking a child if something is wrong, and linking that child or family with the help they need,” Miller-Cribbs said.
The theme for this year's Child Abuse Prevention month is ‘Building community, building hope.’
You can find more information here.