Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cadaver Lab (Trigger Warning)

Hello everyone! Last Friday was the start of spring break at my school, and it was also the day I went to the cadaver lab with my AP Biology class. It was a wonderful experience. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go, for it was a great learning experience and it was amazing. I loved it and had a great time. So now I will start to tell you. C:

My class left for the hospital at five and arrived at the hospital around six. One of the grad students named Kyle was the person leading the cadaver lab. He explained first where they get the bodies and the processes they go through to become preserved. After the short introduction, he explained that if any one of us needed to leave at any time to feel free to leave.

The actual hospital we went to

We then stepped inside the hospital- it was very big and extravagant. We all took a bathroom/water break and proceeded to go down into the morgue. My perception of how the morgue would be was totally different from what it was. it was clean and pristine like the rest of the hospital and about room temperature.

We entered the room and all put on these blue latex gloves. I was very annoyed because since the gloves didn't have any powder stuff I usually see on latex gloves, they stuck right up against my sweaty hands. It was disgusting and honestly, I think that was the worst part of the whole experience.

Morgues don't look like this in hospitals 

We all sat on wooden stools around a big metal container thing that had wheels which annoyed me at points because while readjusting in my stool I would accidentally move it a lot. I could see the outline of the body in a black body bag. I was freaking out really hard at this point, thinking of going back.

The guy unzipped the body bag and as it went around I started to stress. My hand were sweating more and my gloves started to annoy me. Finally we saw the body. It was  discolored and had a yellow tint. It was a female in her eighties.

Pretty much looked like this

I got to hold most of the organs, including the heart, brain, liver, and lungs. The biggest surprise throughout the whole thing was probably the orientation of the lungs and the size of everything. I never knew how truly high up the lungs were.

The best part- in my opinion- was holding the brain. I flipped it over so it was upside down and I saw all of the "cords" that connect it to the spinal cord. There were many arteries at the base and it looked like the roots of a plant, which I found to be very interesting. The most disappointing part of the experience was the fact that the woman had a hysterectomy, meaning she had none of her reproductive organs. I was definitely looking forward to seeing a uterus and such, but I guess I'll have to wait until next time.

Not the brain I held, but see what I mean about the cords? 

In all this, definitely helped determine whether I'll be a doctor- in favor of being a doctor- and I hope that when I have an internship with a hospital next year I will finally decide my career choice.

The funniest parts of the whole experience were when we saw a sign on the "amputations bin" saying "When disposing of limbs on weekends and evenings, LEAVE A NOTIFICATION" as well as my friend Ryan's comment "It is sad that the first actual vagina I've seen is that of an 86 year old dead woman" (note that his mom laughed the hardest at that one. xD)

Thanks for reading!
Yours Truly, Jamie♥

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