Students in the veterinary technology program at Monument Valley High School operate a small clinic where people can bring in animals for vaccinations and other care. With the nearest veterinarian being 150 miles away, the clinic provides a great service to the community. Besides pets, many sheep and goats are also brought in. These animals can often be the victims of stray dog attacks and often need sutures to close their wounds.
McBride was looking for a way to prepare his students to perform sutures when he developed a way to practice on bananas. By using green bananas, the students are able to practice their sutures with sewing needles and dental floss. It is a low cost, effective way to practice this skill and McBride has found that, by practicing before suturing an actual patient, students’ confidence and real-life success increases significantly.
“We have visiting veterinarians come and work with our students and they are very impressed with their suturing capabilities,” McBride said. “In fact, in many situations the veterinarians have let the students close for them during surgery.”