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Empathy hits close to home for nursing students

A faculty member's reversed ostomy equipped a nursing lab with surplus supplies and gave classmates a valuable life lesson.
A faculty member’s reversed ostomy equipped a nursing lab with surplus supplies and gave classmates a valuable life lesson.

Students in the Fundamentals of Nursing course learned more about the experiences some of their future patients will face, courtesy of a donation of excess medical supplies after a faculty member recovered from a serious health issue. Dulcey J. Frantz, assistant professor of nursing, underwent chemotherapy for bowel cancer and had to use an ostomy bag. “Fortunately, she was able to have a reversal to her ostomy and is doing well,” explained Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing, who teaches the course. Since she no longer needs the bags, Frantz donated her extra supplies to the class. Every student applied an ostomy bag – with applesauce in it to simulate a bowel movement – and wore it for 24 hours, journaling about the experience. An ostomy is a surgical procedure in which an artificial opening is made to permit the drainage of waste products either into an appropriate organ or to the outside of the body.
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