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Research Profile: Apiradee Nantsupawat PhD, RN

Assistant Professor Dr. Apiradee Nantsupawat, inspired by her work with a small group of students working in their foundations class, has developed a new arm model to assist students and instructors in their venipuncture practice. The project is supported by the Foundational Nursing Department, project consultant Professor Dr. Susanha Yimyam (Head of Center of Excellence in Nursing), and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sansanee Auephanwiriyakul from the biomedical engineering faculty, and Asst. Prof. Dr. Apiradee has applied for funding from both university and national sources.

Previous arm models were made of wood and, later, rubber, but, as Asst. Prof. Dr. Apiradee says, “It wasn’t very practical.” Working together over the course of four months, the team came up with a more realistic arm made of silicone.

The project allows students to now practice two types of venipuncture; intradermal injection and intravenous injection. The two arm models are similar in that they are made of silicone, but the intradermal injection model is solid silicone, whereas the intravenous injection model includes “blood vessels;” tubes which are inserted into the model to more accurately mimic a human arm. These vessels can be filled with synthetic blood to allow students to practice drawing blood and giving injections. 

Previously, there was no intradermal model at all, and the wood model was so hard, it did not mimic the human body accurately. It was often difficult for students and new nurses to perfect their techniques before entering the field. These new models will help make Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University students better prepared and more skilled in their nursing practice.

While there are other arm models on the market, Asst. Prof. Dr. Apiradee’s models are significantly more cost-effective. They are set to be used at Chiang Mai University in the coming months, and Asst. Prof. Dr. Apiradee hopes they can be distributed throughout the country, as they could greatly aid students and improve overall patient care. 

When asked about the future of the research, Asst. Prof. Dr. Apiradee said she hopes that the models can improve even more and return to being made from rubber, a material native to Thailand. This will help to further cut costs and promote the local economy.

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