Thanks solely to the generosity of donors, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) recently purchased four new synthetic arms for testing and training purposes.
Every nurse who enters the workforce at KHSC is required to demonstrate how to insert and maintain an intravenous catheter. The demonstrations are performed on synthetic arms, which are also used to train student nurses on how to do an intravenous insertion.
“We are so thankful for these arms that touch every nurse who enters our facilities,” says Leanne Wakelin, former Director of Professional Practice, KHSC. “The intravenous demonstration is an important way for us to test nurses before they begin doing intravenous insertions on real people. Our old arms were also hard for students to learn on because they were worn after many years of use. The new ones should last for a good number of years to come!”
The demonstration process certifies that nurses are up-to-date with the equipment and products that KHSC uses. It also ensures staff and patient safety by confirming proper technique.
“There’s really two sides to it,” says Leanne. “You want to make sure the nurses are doing it with the proper precautions to ensure infection doesn’t occur and that they’re doing it with the proper technique to ensure it’s as painless as possible for the patient. But on the other side it’s also a safety issue. We want to make sure staff are inserting the catheters in a manner that protects them from exposure to blood.”
Over time, the equipment used for intravenous insertion has changed. Once upon a time, it was just a needle, and now there’s a lot of extra safety apparatuses. These arms ensure that when a new piece of technology is required to be used, every nurse at KHSC is properly trained on how to use it.
“As far as we’re concerned, these arms are integral to us making sure nurses and patients are comfortable with the intravenous experience,” says Mike McDonald, former KHSC Chief Nursing Executive and Executive Vice President of Patient Care and Community Partnerships. “We are also absolutely thrilled with the thought that students and staff now have better equipment to train on. We feel very fortunate and want to say a huge thank you to UHKF donors for making this possible.”