Berner Bildungszentrum Pflege
More than ten years ago, no model for a port-à-cath puncture simulation was available that met our requirements. All conventional models were constructed in such a way, that the port-à-cath model was built into a whole Mannikins Torso. So we created these models ourselves at the Berner Bildungszentrum Pflege (1).
We constructed the models in such a way, that a hybrid simulation (2) could be carried out, by putting a port-a-cath model on a simulated patient, where the puncture of the port-a-cath could be performed. This gives the nursing students the opportunity to perform punctures on the model and at the same time communicate with the patient. At that time, we did not think about the durability and repair of the model. Over the years, we noticed a wear and tear, that we could no longer repair with our own resources.
The training of a tattoo artist requires constant practice, just as in nursing. Training makes perfect, as the saying goes. But in this sense, it does not always work on the customer. This is where tattoo artists have been looking for solutions for a long time. For a first time, they used pig skin for tattoo trainings. But this was connected with circumstances that called for new solutions. A new path was taken and an artificial skin, ReelSkin was developed. These training skins are the realest training skins one can get (3). It looks like real skin, is 2-3 mm thick and feels almost like real skin.
We started looking for new materials to replace the defective skins of our models. We found what we were looking for in a tattoo shop. The ReelSkin seemed to us to be well suited for the replacement of the skin of the port-a-cath. So we ordered a small quantity and we gave it a try, and repaired 2 models to start with. We quickly realised that the repair worked and ordered more ReelSkins to repair the remaining models.
We cannot yet say how the ReelSkin will last in the long run and how it will restist certain amount of stitches. However, we hope that we will be able to achieve a puncture number of +/- 100 due to the always identical puncture point of the port-à-cath model. Then we will be at a level of material wear, that we note in the simulations for other models.
In the simulations that we offer at the Berner Bildungaszentrum, it is always important to think outside the box and break new ground. This also applies to repairs of models. If we stick to the offers that the nursing or medical landscape provides, we are confined and always deal with the same things. Discovering and exploring new things is important and exciting at the same time.
1) Schlegel C., Shaha M., (2014), Turning old into new, in The clinical Teacher 2014; 11: 561-562
2) Kneebone, R.L. Simulation reframed. Adv Simul 1, 27 (2016) https://doi.org/10.1186/s41077-016-0028-8