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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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Ed Thompson,

Being able to care for strangers – being a nurse – is probably one of the hardest jobs anyone will ever do and it will be one of the hardest jobs a person will love. There isn’t a medical facility in the entire world that could exist without the work of these wonderful people. Bless them all for what they do every day.

Sharon Emick,

Dr. Dulcey Frantz: one very amazing woman, and nurse! So proud to have gotten to know you over the years. Your students are so lucky to have you, so hurry up and get 100%!

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