Suture practice kits should be identical to the ones you use on the job. The goal is to familiarize yourself with the tools you use in a hospital or medical office setting. Practicing suturing is the best way to perfect the procedure, but only if your kit has the right tools. Here's what your suture practice kit should include.
Used when applying intermediated-weight sutures, a Hegar Needle Holder grasps onto the small needles you use for suturing. The holder comes with built-in scissors used to cut the suture. Using the tool is easy, hold it similar to a pair of scissors. Place the needle in the holder, without clamping on the thinner part. You also don't want it held close to the needle's eye. The ratchet lock keeps the needle in place during suturing.
Some sutures need removing after the wound is healed. Suture scissors have a hooked end that slides easily underneath the suture, lifting it for cutting. The scissors can be flat or curved, it depends on the surgeon's preference and type of surgery.
Every suture practice kit should come with a pair of Adson forceps. You use the instrument to hold the skin closed around the wound during suturing. Also called clamps, the forceps are ratcheted to securely hold dense tissue. Hold the forceps between your thumb and index finger. It gives you a steady grip and allows for more control when you are grasping the skin. You want to hold the forceps similar to a pencil.
Scalpel blades are a critical part of any suture kit. The blades have a razor-sharp edge to smoothly cut tissue, with minimal stress to the injured area. Scalpels are used to make incisions to remove debris from the wound before suturing. The blades can also redefine the injury, making it easier to close. Scalpel blades used in suturing are curved with prominent points. Most are disposable for health and safety reasons. Disposable blades are easy to attach to the scalpel handle. Most lock securely when attached to the handle.
Without thread, you can't perform any sutures. There are two types of suture thread, non-absorbable and absorbable. The difference between them is, non-absorbable suture thread is removed when the wound is healed. Absorbable thread is gradually absorbed by the body and does not need to be cut out. The thread can be made from catgut, nylon, silk, or other types of synthetic materials.
Closing a wound with the suture thread requires a few steps. Thread the needle with the sutures, using the forceps to hold the skin together. Stitch the edges of the wound together, tieing a knot at the end to keep the sutures in place.
Some suture practice kits come with several pairs of disposable latex gloves. You will need a fresh pair every time you close a wound, but don't worry if your kit doesn't come with a pair. Whether you are stitching patients up at a hospital or medical office, there will be boxes of gloves for you to wear.