November 21, 2012
Last week my Anatomy class was given the opportunity to tour Luther's cadaver lab. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance! While my Bio 115 class has us dissecting cats to learn muscles, parts of organs, blood vessels, and more, an upper-level Biology class has students dissecting four different human cadavers. Each of these people decided to donate their bodies to science before they died, and upon the completion of the semester, the bodies will be cremated and sent back to the families - the students and faculty at Luther treated the bodies with the upmost respect!
I was a little apprehensive before going in - I have seen surgery before, as I shadowed a Nurse Anesthetist this summer in the OR - but I did not quite know what to expect. Would the smell of formaldehyde make me nauseous? Will I be creeped out looking at a dead body?
Fortunately, everything went smoothly. I was able to look at all four bodies and see some really cool things, and of course learn a ton! It was really neat to be able to put my knowledge from my Bio 115 class into action. For instance, they showed us one of the hearts, and I could identify the structures of it, which felt really cool. What stood out to me the most was how BIG the organs are, especially the liver - I even asked if the liver was enlarged due to cancer! I couldn't believe how much stuff is inside of us, and yet how thin so many people remain. It also blows my mind to think that all of that stuff inside of us is harmoniously working together 24/7 just to keep us functioning in our daily lives. It's truly a beautiful and miraculous thing, and it was such a gift to be able to experience it!