April 17, 2008 The University of Hertfordshire in the UK is striving to improve patient care and reduce hospital infections through use of a life-sized wound model dubbed “George”. The model was designed to assist learning about patients with chronic who represent around 200,000 individuals in the UK at any one time, according to the Tissue Viability Team in the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.
One in five hospitalized patients develop pressure ulcers and in addition to the pain and suffering caused by these non healing wounds, the financial costs of their management are high for both the National Health System (NHS) and the patient. In response to this issue, Julie Vuolo, a lecturer at the School joined forces with Tina Moore, a third year Model Design student to develop a three dimensional model of a man called George, complete with a pressure ulcer, a surgical incision which can be removed to reveal a large abdominal wound and a removable fungating tumor.
In the past wound care has usually been taught to students through the use of photographs and video. George is designed to facilitate discussion about a whole range of tissue viability issues including wound measurement, pressure ulcer grading, dressing application and wound bed preparation.
According to Julie Vuolo George provides benefits over existing models on the market as he was designed by wound care experts with specific wound care learning outcomes in mind. “But the real success of George can be attributed to the need of many nurses to be actively engaged in the learning process. To this end George brings tissue viability alive in a way that the even the best of photographs could never do,” Ms Vuolo said.
George was developed as part of the CABLE project (an HEA funded Pathfinder project involving eleven academic Schools within the University of Hertfordshire).