Members of the Castleview Hospital Medical Explorer Post got the unique opportunity to learn and practice suturing skills this week with Emergency Room Doctor Cam Williams. What made the experience even more special, was the analog they were able to practice on — pigs’ feet.
As one would imagine, the idea made some in the room a little queasy, but as the focus moved from the unusual ‘patients’ to the skills they were learning, even the most dubious members of the medical post were caught up in the opportunity.
Getting the pigs feet was a complicated task for the advisors, who had to sign complex agreements with local company Justice Meats to use them for the activity. They were grateful to the company for making the analogs available, especially after seeing how valuable the experience was for the students.
The suturing activity was the third for the Medical Explorer Post since the group was organized in March as part of the organization “Learning for Life.” The students have also learned how to determine blood type, check pulmonary function, blood glucose and blood pressure, and even use x-ray equipment.
Local Learning for Life Advisor John Behn saw the post as a chance to partner with Castleview Hospital to give locals, ages 14-20, opportunities to learn about the medical field. “I’ve been working well over a year on it now, because I saw the possibilities,” Behn said. “Castleview Hospital has always been such a supporter of partnering with the public, and I saw the program as a natural adjunct to that.”
Behn is supported by Post Advisor Sherry King, the chemotherapy nurse at the hospital, and Harvey Peet, the hospital’s special projects coordinator and safety officer. The two organize the activities in cooperation with the post’s student-leadership.
The next meeting for the Medical Explorer Post will be Tuesday, August 9. They will be discussing proper safety equipment and skills.
So far, 16 local youth have signed up to participate in the medical post, and Behn and his fellow advisors are looking for more. They encourage anyone interested in the medical field, or any of the supporting fields to call for more information. Visit Behn’s office, located at 212 East 100 North in Price, or call 637-8059.
Behn plans to start more Learning for Life posts, beginning with law and engineering, this fall.