Cadaver Day

Bet you never saw a title like that on a blog before! 

So, I’ve been looking forward to this day all school year. My daughter’s Anatomy and Physiology class got to go see a “surgical demonstration” at a local community college. I’ve been calling it Cadaver Day all year. Made people look twice.

Basically, there were 5 rooms set up…a urinary system room, a foot and ankle room, a knee joint room, a cardiothoracic room, and a full cadaver room. They began demonstrations every 20 minutes and you moved from room to room and viewed the parts while medical students demonstrated their knowledge of the human body.

It was totally cool! My daughter wants to be a doctor, so that was her reasoning behind wanting to attend. I’ve been a medical transcriptionist for 15 years, so that was my reasoning. That and the fact that my daughter needed a ride.

Remember biology in junior high and high school? And the disgusting smell of formaldehyde? I fully expected it to be like that. Not. I smelled nothing but the vaguest chemical smell in any of the rooms. The worst part was that it was a warm day, so the rooms were kind of stuffy with all the bodies…the live ones, I mean. There were fans in some of the rooms, which made it more bearable.

We got to see the chest cavity of a male in one room…and the lower half of his body in the urinary room, as evidenced by the large abdominal aortic aneurysm they cut in half to render him into two pieces. Bet he’d be happy to know that by donating his body to science, he was able to do double duty in the demonstration department.

I realized after getting there that I should have asked for extra credit at work for attending this thing. All the terminology used in the demonstrations was completely familiar to me, but now I actually got to SEE what I’ve been typing all these years. My mom, also a transcriptionist, and I used to joke that we’d typed some surgeries so many times that if given the opportunity to actually perform the surgeries on our own we probably could have, if only someone pointed out the landmarks for us. Now I could probably figure it out without the navigation help.

It was very cool.