Learning to suture can be pretty stressful for new nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Many of us practice on dummies or pig’s feet in our NP and PA programs but eventually we have to take the leap out of the classroom and into practice by sewing a real, live wound.
Unlike the controlled environment of the classroom or simulation lab, woulds are messy and unpredictable. They may contain bits of foreign material, bleeding vessels and involve tendons or ligaments. Not to mention, real live patients move, flinch, and may not be quite as receptive of your suturing efforts as an inanimate dummy.
The best way to prepare for suturing in your practice as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant is to practice, practice, practice. Learning to suture in your spare time at home on a piece of fruit or other unassuming grocery item may seem futile but the better you are at tying knots in practice situations, the more quickly you will perfect the skill in real life.
One of the best ways to brush up your suturing skills on your own is by watching videos. Consider purchasing some suturing supplies online and sewing along as you learn. Amazon offers a number of supplies for suturing including a suture practice kit, extra suture packs and instruments and even a human skin model if attempting to acquire a pig’s foot seems too intimidating.
Here are a few helpful videos for learning to suture.
1. Basic Suturing Technique from Dr. Stephen Cady
Dr. Cady demonstrates proper suturing technique and habits. He narrates the steps of suturing slowly and clearly making it easy to refresh your skills.
2. Placing a Simple Suture with SIM VIVO
SIM VIVO produces this straightforward suturing tutorial using a simulation board for practice. The tutorial even includes brief pauses for time to practice on your own.
3. Laceration Repair: Simple Interrupted Suture Technique
Starting with the basics, suturing equipment, physician assistant John Rigano guides us through the process of placing simple, interrupted sutures.
4. Duke Suture Skills Course- Learning Suture Techniques
This video moves beyond the simple suture knot including an introduction to more advanced techniques like running sutures.
Best of luck in your suturing endeavors!