LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – The Poverty Simulation is an empathy-driven experiential learning event that teaches students to care for low-income patients.

In the simulation, nearly 90 students from the Pa. College of Health Sciences assumed the roles of up to 26 different families facing poverty.

The goal is to help students understand what it’s like to live in a low-income family trying to survive for one month and to sensitize them to the realities faced by low-income patients.

Per the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the current poverty rate in Lancaster is 27.9% (county and city combined), over twice the national average of 11.6%.

The simulation looks to prepare students for their professional careers by teaching them to provide culturally competent, compassionate care for patients with a variety of socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.