On Oct. 30, 2018, two teachers, HOSA members, anatomy and physiology students and nursing education students went on a field trip to witness and participate in a mock shoulder surgery.
The mock surgery took place at the Anthrex medical facility in Brentwood and was performed on a partial human cadaver. A cadaver is a dead body that is used for science or health practices. In this case, the cadaver was only a shoulder and upper arm.
The cadaver surgery was performed by Dr. Lucas B. Richie, an orthopedic surgeon and Mount Juliet team doctor.
Regan Farris, president of HOSA, said, “I decided to go on the trip because I think it was super cool to actually see a human cadaver and see actual human injuries.”
HOSA stands for Health Occupation Students of America, which is one of the biggest clubs at Mount Juliet High School. Honors anatomy and physiology and nursing education are just some of the advanced health-science classes available to students.
“I went because when I grow up I don’t want to go into the medical field and not know what to expect. It helps you become aware of what it’s like,” said junior Koi Lindstrom.
This field trip was meant to educate students on the study of the human body, while also giving students the ability to participate in surgery. The experience was one of a kind.
“We got to see Dr. Richie perform surgery on a cadaver shoulder. We explored inside the ball and socket of the shoulder, got to go into the lab to mess with the muscles and talked about different injuries in the shoulder and rotator cuff,” said Farris.
Dr. Richie not only gave the students a chance to watch the surgery but also participate in the surgery by controlling the tools and cameras.
“We got to see and participate in a robotic rotator-cuff surgery. The doctor actually inserted the tools and let the students move them around in the shoulder. Then after that, he showed us how he would repair a rotator cuff injury and also what he would do for a labrum tear. It was really cool,” said Ms. Dickens, a health-science teacher at Mount Juliet High School and sponsor of HOSA.
The HOSA members really liked the field trip and had a positive experience.
“I enjoyed it a lot because it was awesome to see the different types of tools that surgeons have available to them now, to make surgery so quick and easy,” said Farris.
As intended from the field trip, the students gained a lot of knowledge about human anatomy, how surgical machinery is operated and how surgery takes place.
“I learned that when surgeons use the cameras, everything has to be upside down. So when you’re controlling cameras, to move them up, you have to go down, and to move them right, you have to go left,” said Linstrom.
Even one of the teachers gained new knowledge from the field trip.
“I learned how they put in and use the instruments and how the rotator cuff is actually repaired, which was much different than I thought. It was very interesting,” said Dickens.
This cadaver surgery field trip is still a new and unique experience for Mount Juliet High School students and teachers.
“It’s a very good opportunity for students. We’re in a pallet program for it because they would never normally be able to do this. Last year was our first time going. This year, we were able to do it in a larger space, so we were able to take 60 people. It’s an awesome opportunity for people who are interested in health care,” said Dickens.
Considering how enlightening, productive and fun this trip was, the school and staff are trying hard to continue these teaching opportunities for as long as possible.
Dickens said, “I hope that we get to take students again next semester. We will definitely be taking them again next year [if we can] because it’s a really unique experience.”
HOSA members are looking forward to going on the trip again and suggest that students interested in medicine should attend.
“I would go on the same trip again because it was so interesting to see a cadaver and to see Dr. Richie do his work. His profession is amazing,” said Farris.
If you’re interested in going on field trips like this, learning about human anatomy or entering a medical career, you can contact Ms. Dickens about joining HOSA or your guidance counselor about joining medical classes available here at Mount Juliet High School.