Posted Date: 11/29/2019
COPPERAS COVE, TX (October 16, 2019)— Vaseline, fake blood, cocoa powder, toilet paper, gelatin, food coloring, and miscellaneous classroom supplies resulted in a recipe that is advancing the knowledge of Copperas Cove High School students as they work toward their certificaions in medical terminology.
Students participated in a Grey’s Anatomy-style wound lab. Students learned the basic anatomy and physiology of the Integumentary System, the organ system consisting of the skin, hair, nails, and exocrine glands, along with a variety of common skin injuries and disorders. They also studied career paths that relate to working with skin, which is by far the largest organ in the body even though it is only a few millimeters thick.
CCHS Health Sciences teacher Rebecka Shuffler said the average person's skin weighs 10 pounds and has a surface area of almost 20 square feet.
“After the students had foundational knowledge on the Integumentary System, they worked on learning medical terminology word parts as they pertain to the skin and accessory organs. Prior to the lab activity, students completed a case study on both wounds and burns answering questions as they learned,” Shuffler said. “Then, students used their knowledge of the integumentary system as well as directional terminology created fake wounds and a fictional back story on how their wounds were obtained.”
Students worked in pairs to create their wounds designed to meet the size, location, and depth of their choosing. Using what they had learned, students were required to be able to describe the appearance and location of their wounds using technical vocabulary.
At the start of the activity, students were skeptical about their ability to create wounds out of the supplies provided, but at the end, students including Danielle Bailey were surprised to see how realistic some of their wounds appeared to be.
“It was a great activity that challenged both your mind and artistic ability,” Bailey said. “The cocoa powder really made it look realistic and the Vaseline mixture gave it a glossy finish. I enjoyed being creative with the staples to close the wound.”
The activity allowed students to apply their knowledge of the Integumentary System and medical terminology to a scenario. Some stories were realistic and some were quite imaginative. Regardless of the students’ backstories about their mock wounds, students were successfully able to demonstrate their mastery of the classroom content.
“When I first looked at the supplies, I was like ‘this is going to be hard.’ But, the visual aid helped me learn about the different layers of the wounds,” student Laresia Evans said. “I never knew I wanted to be anything in healthcare until I took Medical Terminology.”