Scholarship Winner - Julie Ann Heater

How The Use of Practi-Products and Medical Simulation Have Enhanced My Education

By Julie Ann Heater

Julie Ann Heater Deciding to pursue a career in nursing was an uncomplicated choice for me. I have had the desire to become a healthcare professional for many years and have worked hard to bring that aspiration into reality. The idea of being a mother, a provider for my children and a student was extremely overwhelming. There came a day when I had to bring this idea, this hope, and this dream to a reality. It was then that I found myself juggling family responsibilities and academics at Indiana University South Bend.

In the interim, I just began nursing school. Since this is my first semester in the nursing program I was eager to find out how the instructors were going teach the fundamentals of nursing in a way I can understand without a live patient in the room. Within the first few weeks of the semester I quickly realized that the instructors work became increasingly didactic after clinical because the time I spent in lecture and the practice I had in lab, made sense. With the help of the lecture and lab instructors in my Science and Technology of Nursing class I began to flourish as I demonstrated the diagnosing aspect of the nursing process.

For example, in lab we were given a scenario and it takes time to diagnose and prepare medications from vials and ampules. With an ampule, in order for you to use the medication inside you must break the glass ampule and the fluid can then be drawn out. This may seem like a fairly easy technique but if it were to be done incorrectly you either can cause injury or waste the medication. This is why the need for realism in a simulation lab is crucial. We have to be able to know what it feels like to have a clean, safe break on an ampule.

The ampule that was used in our simulation was the Practi-Lanox Amp which is not only a frequently ordered IV drug (Lanoxin) but one of the most, high quality pieces of equipment used in our simulation lab merely because of the safe ampule opening.

In addition to the Practi-Lanox Amp, we also find ourselves in need to safely administer injections using the Practi-Mini Injecta Pad. This to me was an amazing instrument used in the lab because it resembled so much like human tissue. It definitely was an asset when I was learning how to inject insulin and administer an intramuscular injection using the Z-Track method. This procedure requires concentration to the technique because of the leakage the injected drug may cause to the tissue and also to the patient’s uneasiness.

I understand, better now than ever, the complexities of medical administration because of Wallcur’s ability to create these products for our clinical simulation. I embrace these challenges as they strengthen and reinforce my drive to make a positive impact in the quality of healthcare I will administer.