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Fake buttocks and breast examination torso wow potential future nurses

26 July 2016


Southend University Hospital pulled out all the stops at this year’s Greensward Academy industry day, which took place at the school in Hockley, and was aimed at 14-15 year old students.

The hospital's Lead Urology Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Ann French, gave a short talk on how nursing has developed in the 35 years of her career, and about job opportunities for nurses today, perhaps even helping to influence a future generation of nurses for Southend.

Ann also brought along a selection of equipment used by herself and other colleagues in the hospital, including both male and female catheterisation models and catheter equipment.

The day had an extra special significance for Ann, who said: "It gave me confidence that some of the young faces I saw in the room would one day probably be looking after me in hospital.  The students were fun, interactive and so well behaved. I was especially proud as my own son, who qualified as a chemistry teacher last year, facilitated the session."

The students participated in learning about anatomy, conditions that require patients to need a catheter and also had an opportunity to attempt catheterising the models. They were also shown how to examine a 'breast examination torso' which shows how tumours in the breast and armpit can feel.  A colonic washout model, used to train patients who suffer with constipation to self-manage their bowel movements, was also demonstrated.  

A white light box to check how well the students washed their hands was a great hit. Participants coat their hands with a cream to represent germs and then wash it off - residual 'germs' glow blue on their hands if any cream is left behind.  

Finally, a set of buttocks were available, highlighting the different stages of pressure sores and their management. The students had time to use the training models and ask lots of questions and this hands on approach really got them engaged about the role of nursing.

One of the students said: "The nurse was really interesting to listen to.  Ann told us what it is actually like to be a nurse and why she loves her job.  It wasn't like all you hear in the papers about the NHS; she really seemed to love it."  

Another said: "It was weird at first getting hands on with the models but it was really interesting once we got stuck in - not something I would ever have seen myself doing before."