I love skills lab on Friday mornings! It’s absolutely my favorite class, and I can’t wait until our skills lab turns in to clinicals in a couple of weeks. 🙂
This past Friday, we learned how to set up a sterile field and don sterile gloves using sterile technique. It was fun for me because I’d just seen a nurse use sterile technique on Thursday when I was volunteering at Children’s Medical Center – she was changing a PICC line dressing on a baby (who screamed, by the way) – and I was curious as to how the whole sterile process really worked. Well, we learned it on Friday. And it is certainly no easy feat to remember not to drop your hands below your waist or reach across your sterile field to grab stuff. It took a lot of concentration and I was super slow as I used sterile technique to change a “wound” on Mr. Mann – our simulation dummy in lab.
So we also learned how to change wounds using wet-to-moist dressing changes (and sterile technique). It wasn’t difficult at all, but having to remember that everything I was using was sterile and thus I needed to proceed carefully to keep it sterile was interesting. I hope one day it’s second nature for me and I’m not so slow and clumsy with procedures using sterile technique! This is where practice makes perfect, right? We also learned how to assess wounds and document our findings. How much drainage is there? What’s the color and nature of the drainage? How long/wide/deep is the wound? Any odors noted? Is it healing (is there granulation tissue)? And so on and so forth.
After learning dressing changes, we learned how to do an indwelling (Foley) urinary catheterization. Best skill of the day! We had a lot of fun with it, but I’m sure in an actual situation it’ll be much more nerve wracking…let’s just say I’m positive the urethral opening on a penis or vagina is NOT as large as the ones in lab were! 😉
After learning our skills, my partner and I thanked Mr. Mann for his cooperation:
Sooooo that was my Friday. And as much fun as that was, now I’m stuck studying for three tests and one vital signs check-off next week and I’m so stressed I feel like I’m going to explode. Don’t you love how I’m procrastinating by writing this blog post?? Haha. Last night I was up until 1am trying to study for pharm. Today, I have to study for assessment (test is tomorrow!!) and then more pharm (I’m never going to know all these drugs by Tuesday). My vital signs check-off is on Wednesday, and then I have a medical dosage calculations math test on Friday, and that will conclude my week. I can survive for one week!
PS: click the links within the text to watch youtube videos on those skills.