Treating Wounds and Learning to Suture in Honors Anatomy

A quick look into Jenn Jones' Honors Anatomy and Physiology class, one would think the school nurse needed to be called, immediately. But at a closer look, students were working fastidiously to treat fake burns and wounds and learn how to suture on a banana.

"As a culminating lesson on the integumentary system, we talked about 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree burns and different types of wounds," explained Mrs. Jones. "We then talked about how the tissue regenerates itself and what scars are and why they form."

"Learning how to stitch was so much fun and actually pretty simple once I got the hang of it," said Caleigh Dinsmore '22.

"It made what we learned in the classroom on bananas feel real and was a very cool experience!" said Emily Staid '22.

"We used bananas at first and then pigs' feet," said Mrs. Jones. "It was a lot of fun! I truly believe hands-on learning is a great way for students to truly understand a concept."

"It was especially easier to stitch up the banana in comparison to the pig's foot," explained Caleigh. "Switching between different suture materials from silk in the banana to nylon in the pig's foot, gave me a broader understanding of how tough our skin actually is."

"The students also had an opportunity to have some fun and make a wound or burn of choice and write a reflection on how it would heal," said Mrs. Jones.

"It is important to keep all burns moisturized and covered because of the high moisture content in the skin that is lost when the cells are destroyed," explained Emily. "Depending on the severity of a burn the treatment can differ. Third-degree burns go all the way through the skin, into the Adipose tissue, so moisture loss is very easy, and to maintain homeostasis immediate fluids are needed."

"Hopefully, this will be an experience that they will never forget!" said Mrs. Jones.

"I absolutely loved this lesson," said Caleigh. "I believe it helped me understand the material a lot easier and the sewing of the banana and pig's foot helped me reflect on our skin and it clicked the materials of different layers of skin into place for me. Without the hands-on experience, I don't think I would've had the same level of understanding and interest in the skin."

"The hands-on learning offered by Mrs. Jones was truly a treat and made learning the material so much more interesting," said Emily. "Learning about the skin may not always be the most interesting unit, but due to the real-world applications we did I was able to become so much more interested in the body system!"