HomeGrown Solution: "Pap"-Shop: An Innovative Low Fidelity Solution


"Pap"-Shop: An Innovative Low Fidelity Solution

Submitted By

Kimberley Lamarche

HomeGrown Solution Number


Identification of the Problem

Procedural skills training is an essential element of nurse practitioner education. Enabling students to master the manual dexterity required for procedures prior to entering their clinical preceptorship supports their learning and reduce the anxiety that can arise when performing some procedures with patients for the first time. Simulation models are expensive and prove to be unrealistic and live models are expensive and difficult to train.

Unique Idea

Readily available and low cost supplies such as melons, apricots, and toilet paper rolls or pipe insulation are used to mimic the anatomical structures to allow for dexterity familiarization. Students report increased confidence leading up to their first clinical exam, and the challenges of access to and expense of simulated patients or high-fidelity models is eliminated.


Exposure to clinical equipment prior to patient exposure increases students’ confidence and decreases perceived stress.


  1. Cantaloupes
  2. Apricots
  3. Styrofoam pipe insulation (cut in 3-inch lengths)
  4. Toilet paper rolls
  5. Light source
  6. Pap smear equipment (slide, spatulae, cytobrush)
  7. Cutting board
  8. Knife
  9. Disposable absorbent pads

Steps to Creating the Solution

  1. Material preparation
  2. Cantaloupe were cut in half and seeds removed to simulate the sampling surface of the cervix. Apricots were left intact with stems removed to simulate a nulliparous cervix.
  3. Equipment was demonstrated through a show-and-tell experience. Correct speculum insertion and removal techniques were demonstrated using the pipe insulation and/or toilet paper rolls.
  4. Students practiced the manual dexterity needed to open, lock and close the speculum, and handle a light source. Students practiced with industry light sources as well as headlamps and otoscopes.
  5. Students then had the opportunity to conduct peer guided/instructor supervised practice of all skills.