Feline Dissection - page 2

by Glycerine82 2,309 Views | 27 Comments

So, I am a pre-nursing student and just started Anatomy and Physiology II. I have worked in healthcare for about 5 years now and seen many things. I have a really strong stomach, not much bothers me. I find clinical mode and... Read More


  1. 0
    I'm a huge cat lover too, & I got through dissecting them without batting an eye. You can get through it. The cat farm gives me the heebee geebees though - I had no idea such farms existed. If you can eat a burger knowing where that came from, however, this will likely be manageable as well.
  2. 0
    This probably isn't the first time you're going to come up against something that upsets you. I had a medical research fellowship while I was an undergrad at a cancer research center. When I started out, my group was working with mice. I didn't have much compunction about the work we did with them (especially after being bit over and over again). When our research moved forward and we had to advance to more complex animals, the animal of choice was beagles because of their size, temperament and the fact that they don't have a lot of inherited health issues. Although I believed in the research we were doing, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about working with dogs. As it turned out, my fellowship ended before they moved on to using dogs. I'm not sure how I would have felt about it. It would have been a hard choice to make but I'm fairly certain I would have continued with the work.
  3. 0
    Quote from loriinmd
    This probably isn't the first time you're going to come up against something that upsets you. I had a medical research fellowship while I was an undergrad at a cancer research center. When I started out, my group was working with mice. I didn't have much compunction about the work we did with them (especially after being bit over and over again). When our research moved forward and we had to advance to more complex animals, the animal of choice was beagles because of their size, temperament and the fact that they don't have a lot of inherited health issues. Although I believed in the research we were doing, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about working with dogs. As it turned out, my fellowship ended before they moved on to using dogs. I'm not sure how I would have felt about it. It would have been a hard choice to make but I'm fairly certain I would have continued with the work.
    I don't mind doing things that upset me. I just wish i didn't have to do something that I just feel is wrong. If it were for research, I could understand. Its for a bunch of pre-nursing students who may or may not ever end up in the field they're heading towards. If I were further along in my studies, or there was a clear reason that this was going to help me in some earth shattering way---OK. But anyway I figure the cats already dead and it will be a part of my lab group whether I like it or not so I may as well get on with it. *sigh*
  4. 0
    Judge me if you will....but my cats (I have 3 and yes, I have a husband too. I'm not a crazy cat lady lol) are my children. It killed me when I had to do this. Everyone can give you their opinions on your feelings, but I have some advice that worked for me. You have to do it so you can do a few things to make it easier on you.

    #1) Keep in the moment. Do not think of where the "specimen" came from, its there, work with it. We can't change where it came from so do what you have to do and move on.

    #2) Keep it scientific. As I said above refer to it as a specimen, not a cat, and by all means DO NOT name it. I don't know why, but people in my class named them. It did not make it easier on anyone. And don't choose one. Just take what you get. I know this sounds nuts but some students picked an orange one b/c they had an orange cat at home, not helping folks.

    #3) Keep it covered. By this I mean the face and paws. Yes, you have to work in the abdomen, but it makes it much easier if you don't see the things about it that make it a cat and not a specimen. I love my kitties' little faces and not looking at that made it seem more like a process and less of what it really was to me...cutting up something I could imagine loving.

    Last but not least, let them judge you. Who cares? You get out your paper towels, cover the cute parts, and do what you need to get through it. It will help you with a great skill you will need for nursing. Getting the job done and walking out with your head held high and a smile on your face.

    Good Luck to you!! It will be fine and you will be a better person/nurse for it!
  5. 0
    I am a huge cat person to. This is what worries me too. I just started A&P. Animal dissection is so stupid to me.
  6. 0
    I'm so thankful that my A&P had no disection.
  7. 0
    I had a hard time with it, too, even though our cats were feral. Two things helped me. 1) I did my best to avoid looking at our cat's face; and 2) I approached it clinically. It wasn't a sweet little kitty cat who had feelings and loved and hurt. It was a specimen. It was a heart and lungs and stomach and blood vessels and muscles.

    In the end, I found our dissections fascinating. I just had to get past the beginning.
  8. 0
    Great advice AntMarchingRN. I am starting school in the fall and I will utilize your advice.
  9. 0
    This is a great opportunity to test your confidence. Either buck up, shore up your courage and just do whatever it takes to get through it........

    OR

    Do like I did and go to the instructor. I sat him down and said NO. I said I would not, under any circumstances, cut into an animal like that. I didn't cry or tell a sob story and go into some lecture about my "beliefs." I just said no. Then launched into problem-solving mode.

    I was polite, articulate, but firm. I assured him it pained me to be a "high maintenance" student with "issues." I think it helped that I was older, and hadn't had any issues in the program up to that point. I was honest, mature and to the point, and also came armed with solutions. There are many dissection videos online and ways to illustrate and graph/identify anatomy of animals on paper and by now, online as well.

    I made it clear I wanted to learn what was being taught, wanted good grades and to graduate and desired a sincere knowledge of anatomy. I presented alternatives and a willingness to self-direct. He was delighted. The next week, he emailed me to tell me he'd conferred with the Dean and they'd agreed on a lesson plan for me that excluded live dissection.

    In all, the conversation was 30 mins and the lesson took a hour and a half watching videos then graphing on a drawing. It turned out great.

    Standing up for yourself, with a calm, firm, mature demeanor really pays off sometimes.
  10. 0
    Approaching the instructor with your concerns works in some schools; not so much in others. Our first day of Lab we were told there would be dissection and it was required for us to participate. We didn't have to necessarily do the cutting ourselves if there was somebody else in our group willing to do it, but we HAD to be present. Of course, we could just not show up that day if we chose, but also would not receive a grade for that day. Additionally, that would leave us less prepared for our final (and midterm & final in A&P II), all of which had cats at some of the stations.

    Many of us started with apprehensions, most of us finished agreeing on the valuable experience we had just received.


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