Skills for preparation for required Operating Room Rotation
As told by Terrie Wold, HERO volunteer
“I have volunteered at HERO for the past year. During this time, I have been amazed by the volume of high quality medical supplies that are recycled through redistribution every day. I have observed that saving items for students from a variety of education programs is a part of their local community program. Recycling is HERO’s goal! Finding new ways to use donated supplies while enhancing learning becomes a win/win situation for all.
In July, I was invited back to the UND Physician Assistant Program to help coordinate their Fall 5-week Didactic Course. During course development, preparing students for their required Operating Room and Emergency Room/Trauma Center clinical rotations became a goal.
The PA students come from varied healthcare backgrounds and prior exposure to the skill of scrubbing, gowning and gloving is inconsistent. These skills have been taught in the classroom setting, previously, with limited access to supplies for practicing. The program had purchased sterile gowns and gloves for each student but were for one-time use only. It was a dream of our program director, Dr. Jeanie McHugo, to provide students with the opportunity to actually go to an OR environment to perform this skill without the pressure of performing for an actual surgical case.
Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND agreed to allow our students to come to their O.R. to scrub, gown, and glove after hours. With fifty five students, it took three evenings to provide students with these hands-on learning sessions taught by Altru OR Nurses and PA’s. To save costs and ease arrangement of this experience, students brought their program purchased sterile gown and gloves.
The Altru OR staff encouraged us to do a classroom lecture and practice session to expose them to the basics before their on-site skill-lab. Supplies to use in the classroom became a priority. With my connection to HERO and permission by Georgia Dufault, I started collecting surgical gloves and gowns late July through early September. I gathered 30 gowns and 60+ gloves and cut foam sponges to be scrub brushes. As we instructed each skill step in the classroom the students were able to practice the step using recycled HERO supplies. Students worked in pairs with partner playing the role of the OR Nurse.
Students overwhelmingly appreciated this “hands-on” learning experience in both settings; communicating that practicing in the classroom significantly prepared them for the actual O.R. session at Altru.
We have HERO to thank for providing our PA students with this complete learning opportunity. Without the recycled surgical gowns and gloves from HERO we would not have been able to provide this learning experience to our PA Students. Thank you HERO, you make a difference!”