Is anyone else terrified of the cadavers?

  1. For Anatomy & Physiology lab? I AM!!! I start my class in two weeks, and I'm admittedly terrified of the cadavers. How do you make it through it?!?!?!

    Michelle
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   Achoo!
    He actually greeted us on our first day, we had to walk around him to get to our seats.
    Usually they have the face covered with a cheesecloth. Our man's face was covered until we started working on the brain. He then was on his side and you could see his eyes and nose. That is when it personalized it for me. It was the best experience though to actually see everything. I don't think my class would have been as interesting doing lab on a cat or some other animal.
  4. by   Energizer Bunny
    I wish we used cadavers! I think it would be great and have wondered about finding out if I could observe an autopsy somehow. We only used rats and fetal pigs.
  5. by   SCmomof3
    From what I can see on the syllabus, I don't think we're using cadavers either. I know we have to disect a sheep's brain and a cat. I kind of wish we were using cadavers, although I bet I'd be pretty freaked out too :uhoh21: Good luck! I'm sure you'll do fine
  6. by   coolatta19
    Quote from Achoo!
    He actually greeted us on our first day, we had to walk around him to get to our seats.
    Usually they have the face covered with a cheesecloth. Our man's face was covered until we started working on the brain. He then was on his side and you could see his eyes and nose. That is when it personalized it for me. It was the best experience though to actually see everything. I don't think my class would have been as interesting doing lab on a cat or some other animal.
    I start my first A&P class in Sept. Please don't think I'm dumb, but it didn't even occur to me that we would be using CADAVERS!!! WOW! I'm even more excited about the class...

    I also agree on the human body being the choice of cadaver...can't wait for Sept.
  7. by   Renee' Y-Y
    First off, just know that you should treat these bodies with dignity & respect. All of these people donated their bodies so that students just like you could learn what you needed to learn. I have heard of students playing around with them...making gestures, pretending like their talking, etc...which, I personally, think is highly disrespectful. Would you want someone treating a family member that way? Secondly, it probably is not going to be as icky as you think it might be. These bodies have been preserved for quite some time, there is no blood. The odor of the preservant might be a bit noxious.

    Of all the science classes/labs that I had to take, my only regret was that I wish I had paid more attention in A&P.
  8. by   kahumai
    I completely agree with Renee. There were people in my A&P class who wanted to make gestures or comments about our cadavers (a man and a woman), and ironically, these were the people who failed the class. Nurses need to have respect for humans both living and deceased, and cadavers used in an educational setting are no different. What happens if you're in the hospital and you have to perform post-mortem care?

    Personally, one of the reasons nursing was so attractive for me was because I find the human body fascinating. So when we were able to look at the cadavers in class, it just sort of put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Aside from the smell of fermeldehyde (sp?), it's not that bad. The people in my class who were freaked out at first ended up being the ones who wanted to move to the front to see better. It was a really great experience to be able to work with them; I just wish we had them in nursing school. Don't worry. You'll be fine!!!
  9. by   becca.utns
    Wow, I think my Anatomy Lab would have been much more beneficial if we were able to learn with cadavers. After all I am not going to be taking care of a cows eye, a fetal pig, and a cat in a few months.

    But then again we had a few 'losers' in lab (I don't think they made it through nursing school, thank goodness) who would do immature and crude things to the animals. I was ashamed for them, but if we had cadavers I would have been livid! :angryfire ... Anyway learn as much as you can in lab because it will definitely help in nursing school!!!
  10. by   Kyriaka
    Alot of this is cultural and "taught" when you are young.

    I will give you an interesting example. I am Greek Orthodox. At a Greek funeral there is part of the service where you can visably see who is and who is not a Greek (no matter what they look like)--I WISH this had been in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

    At a Greek funeral, people line up to kiss the person goodbye. When people start doing this, you can visibly see the other people that are not used to this start shifting uncomfortably in their seats not knowing what to do...they are afraid of the body and would never ever even touch the person much less kiss them!!

    In the US most Greek Orthodox priests will say something like, "It is our tradition to do this... If you feel uncomfortable please do not feel that you must participate, ...However, we have nothing to fear from the dead only the living".

    But this is very much a culturally "taught" thing. Those children whose parents do this dont think anything of it.

    I think part of this is all the horror movies in this country. The walking dead, etc. etc.

    Just remember..you have nothing to fear from the dead. Only the living!! The bodies are there for you to learn. Some were just unclaimed but others were people who believed very strongly in helping science.

    ______________
    Oh, at a viewing we have a shot glass next to the body and you toast the person. Also, you get to have your photo taken if a relative. I know it seems a bit odd but not really.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    My first day in the anatomy theatre, our professor gave us a gentle reminder and warning that the two people who donated their bodies to science deserved the utmost respect and I found it quite moving to think of it that way. No one was disrespectful - I know most of the students would have halted any kind of mistreatment of the cadavers.

    I was a bit wary also but I have to say really enjoyed the class. I ended up being a proctor in that professor's class the next semester. My assignment was the torso and all it included. Very interesting to check out the reproductive tract however most women have had hysterectomies. We had one male and one female cadaver.

    I also helped after the class to respectfully place the man and woman into their respective boxes and then drove them to the mortuary where they were cremated.

    If you come at this experience with the respect these folks deserve, you'll be fine. I am sure I would have found cats, pigs, etc., much worse to work with.

    Have a great class and learn lots!!

    steph
  12. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from luckymichelle
    For Anatomy & Physiology lab? I AM!!! I start my class in two weeks, and I'm admittedly terrified of the cadavers. How do you make it through it?!?!?!

    Michelle
    Honey- it's not like it can get up and chase you down the hall (he hehehe-how's that for a nightmare?) Just keep the face covered and concentrate on each particular system or organ.After you have said a little prayer of thanks that this person gave the ulitimate gift...
  13. by   nursedawn67
    Where I went to school we worked on cats, although very interesting it was hard to identify it with working on a human being.

    Good luck in all you do!
  14. by   luckymichelle
    Oh my goodness Kyriaka ... what a great statement. Just remember..you have nothing to fear from the dead. Only the living!! That really makes sense to me. You're completely correct. Maybe I can start looking at the gift that these people are giving to us, understand that it's natural, and stop acting so scared. I'm so scared of the grotesqueness that I may see, that I'm missing out here. I am really going to have to work on getting that out of my mind. Thank you for sharing this, I think this will help me.

    I think if I EVER saw anyone doing anything disrespectful to a cadaver, I'd end up in the klink for assault. That's about as low as a person can go.

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