UC Riverside students will learn to suture virtually

When Brian Allee, D.O. pulls out his suture kit April 10 in Oklahoma, it won’t be to close an actual wound. He will turn on his camera, turn up his microphone and will teach approximately 60 students in California how to suture virtually.

In addition to his private practice in Pauls Valley, OK. Allee is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. As part of that service, Allee teamed with the 6th Medical Recruiting Battalion’s Santa Ana, Ca. station to serve as the instructor for the event, being sponsored by the Healthy Hearts Club at the University of California, Riverside.

In the past, explained CPT Samantha Hardy, Office in Charge of the Santa Ana station, recruiters have conducted in-person suture clinics for groups of 20 or so students, but this event is a first.

“To have Dr. Allee in Oklahoma teaching a suture class to 60 students in their homes isn’t something we would have ever thought of doing a year and a half ago,” Hardy stated, “but the Army has adapted and if we can help 60 students become healthcare professionals, we are going to find a way to do that.”

Hardy and her team of recruiters are tasked with searching for medical, dental and veterinary students and professionals who are interested in working in the Army or Army Reserve. Teaching classes to college students and providing hospitals with subject matter experts for lectures and classes that provide continuing education credits to their workers are two ways they do that.

“Army healthcare isn’t just about taking care of soldiers on the battlefield or on Army posts,” Hardy noted. “Like Dr. Allee, our Reserve officers take the considerable training and skills they get from the Army back to their community, and Army healthcare officers are always looking for ways to interact with their civilian counterparts for the betterment of both.”