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The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Niles West Anatomy Classes Take a Trip to the Cadaver Lab

Tina Schmidt
Students from the Anatomy classes who visited the Cadaver labs.

Niles West Anatomy and Physiology classes went to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science on Monday, April 22 to visit the Cadaver Lab. This is an annual field trip that the Anatomy classes take ever year to gain a better understanding of the human body. This experience allows students to see everything they have learned throughout the year along with exploring potential health care career options.

Anatomy teachers Tina Schmidt and Meghan McGovern took their classes to the Cadaver Lab in hopes of students applying their knowledge outside of the day-to-day classroom environment.

“The best way to learn anatomy and physiology is to see the structures and being able to explore the body. Since we can’t look at human Cadavers in class, we normally do animal dissection. However, this opportunity (visiting the cadaver lab) allows students to get a comprehensive overview of all the different organ systems in the human body. Additionally what I like about Rosalind Franklin is that they have a pathology lab since they have a pathology assistant program and it’s super cool to see what they study and learn,” Schmidt said.

Through visiting a Cadaver Lab, students are given the opportunity to also touch and feel the organs that they have been learning about.

“The point is to give students the opportunity to see the real organs in a controlled environment but also give them the chance to actually touch and feel what the different structures are like. This also helps students figure out if this is something they really want to do because this is usually the first time for most students to see a real human Cadaver,” McGovern said.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science building (Syeda Fatima)

Depending on which Cadaver Lab is available, that’s where the anatomy teachers take their students. In the past years, students have been taken to the Loyola Medical School, Rush University Oakton Community College and North Park University Cadaver Labs as well.

This experience also allows students to get an idea of what type of classes they will need to take in college especially if they plan on going into the medical field.

“As students are figuring out what career paths they want to go to, it’s really cool to see a graduate level Cadaver Lab where many students going into the health care field will take a Gross Anatomy course in college. It gives students a preview of what’s to come along with clinical application of the material and how it relates to the things we are seeing content-wise in the textbook, during labs and in class,” Schmidt said.

The visit also opened up other potential career options that students might have not known much about or considered before.

“This also opens up career ideas for kids because most students don’t even know what a pathologist assistant is let alone ever consider it as a career and so one of the goals with me teaching Anatomy is exposing kids to career pathways they might not have considered before the class,” McGovern said.

While the idea of seeing a Cadaver can be overwhelming, most students enjoyed the experience and were grateful to apply all their knowledge to a real human.

“At first I was slightly grossed out by the idea of going to a Cadaver Lab, however, it was pretty cool to see all the organs that we have only really seen in pictures in real life. I was able to point out the different parts of the human body and also get a better understanding of the various functions,” senior Nida Ahmed said.

If visiting a Cadaver Lab interests you, take anatomy next year to understand the human body and see one as well!

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