After receiving your acceptance letter for med school, you anticipate many sleepless nights and brutal assessments of the skills necessary to become a doctor. Honing these skills depends on hours and hours of practice on your own time outside the classroom.
As a doctor, wound care may be a large part of your job description. Your patients may come to you with deep lacerations that need medical attention. You can expect to spend some time stitching up wounds of various shapes and sizes.
Read on to learn which questions a med student might ask when choosing a stitching kit to practice sutures for proper wound care.
1. Does the Suture Kit Have All of the Required Items?
When you are practicing stitches, you need to have the tools that you would use when suturing an actual wound.
This means your suture kit needs to have the basic items, including a suture pad (to practice your sutures on), a needle holder, and needles with suturing threads of different sizes for the different types of wounds you might come across in your line of work. You will also need forceps, scissors, and a scalpel to perform neat, precise stitches.
You should also make sure that your suture kit comes with a storage case to keep everything together.
As an added bonus, the Medical Creations' suture practice kits have a digital e-book with the latest information on suturing procedures.
2. Are The Items Made From Quality Materials?
It's important to remember that not every suture practice kit is made equally. Practicing on poor-quality pads and suture threads from generic stitching kits might not help improve your stitching when it comes to actual wounds. You have to make sure that the suture kits that have all of the aforementioned items are made from high-quality materials.
You may also have to practice each type of suture several times before you get the hang of it (and even more to become proficient). You should make sure that the suture pad is resistant to the poking, prodding, and pulling that occurs during the suturing process.
Some suture kits supply you with the tools needed to practice your sutures, but they aren't made from quality materials. The scissors and scalpel blades may be too dull for you to make precise cuts and remove suture threads. The needle holders may not properly hold the needles for accurate suturing.
3. Can You Stitch Various Wound Types?
Each wound that you stitch up is going to be different from the last; the lacerations won't always be even, straight lines. You shouldn't practice your sutures on the same type of laceration each time. Your suture pad should have various types of "wounds" to practice on.
The three-layer silicone suture pad simulates human skin. The horizontal and vertical layers of mesh inside the suture pad make them durable for repeated use. However, the mesh also makes the suturing feel more realistic.
You will also want to be able to practice different suturing techniques on the suture pad. Will the suture pad allow you to perform continuous sutures and interrupted sutures? Will you be able to use the suture pad to practice sutures that go below the surface of the skin (subcutaneous sutures)?
You also have to consider the different types of suture threads and needles you might use in different situations. The suture threads that you use on a small incision may not work with a gaping wound.
4. Is the Suture Kit Cost-Efficient?
It's no surprise that med school is expensive. You might have to stick to a strict budget to make ends meet while working towards your degree. If your suture pad doesn't last long enough to practice your sutures before it falls apart, you didn't pick the right one.
It's important to consider the cost per suture rather than just focusing on the upfront cost of suture kits. The right suture kit will have a suture pad that you can use over and over again before it wears out on you. Buying a low-quality suture kit can be a serious waste of time and money.
5. Is the Stitching Kit Portable?
Your ideal suture kit needs to be small enough to carry around (with a large enough suture pad to see what you are doing). You never know when you might find a few moments of downtime where you can focus on practicing your sutures on the go. After all, you will be spending several hours of your own time perfecting your suturing techniques.
If your suture kit isn't held together in a storage case, you won't be able to take it with you between classes and clinical rounds. A large, bulky suture kit may take up too much space to transport it. If your suture kit can fit in your bag or your locker, you will be more likely to practice sutures in your free time.
Choosing the Right Stitching Kit for Practicing Sutures
As an aspiring medical professional, you should take strides to invest in your future outside of your learning environment. Buying a stitching kit is one of those investments.
Make sure that the kit that you purchase has all of the tools that you need to make precise stitches. You should also make sure that these items are made from high-quality materials.
Contact Medical Creations today for more information on choosing a new suture practice kit. We also have several textbooks and training materials to guide you through your journey in the medical field.