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Happy Nurses Week! Cory's Story:

Cory Haaf practicing tracheostomy suctioning with a Healthcare Theatre Student at University of Delaware

Cory Haaf, Graduate of the University of Delaware Nursing Program is entering his 9th month as a new-grad nurse in the Cardiac Surgery ICU at University of Maryland Medical Center. He is working on a unit where patients with tracheostomies are frequent and require a lot of attention, specifically when they are being weaned off of a ventilator and cannot completely control their secretions.

"One of the first times I had a patient on my unit with a trach that required frequent suctioning, I immediately thought of our simulations in school and how accurately the simulated participants portrayed the scenario.

In school, I was thinking to myself that this reaction was dramatic. I thought "no one is going to look like this while I'm suctioning them." I figured they would look relieved. Boy, was I wrong! The Healthcare Theatre students paired with the responsiveness of Avtrach helped to simulate exactly what I encounter on a regular basis! It taught me how patients react, how to educate patients with new trachs on how it is going to feel, and how to prepare for trach care.

I continue to think about my experience with Avtrach almost every day. I've spoken to my colleagues about our experience in the lab with the Healthcare Theatre™ students and the Avkin simulators. I've heard repeatedly that they wish they would've had something like that to work with during their time in school.

My experience as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware has helped make me a better nurse. Because, we have all heard that our patients may not remember what we said, but how we made them feel during their hospital stay, and that's what patient centered care is all about."

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