A&P dissections....

Students Pre-Nursing


I've seen various posts about dissections that include cats, pigs and even a rat. Does anyone elses school do cadavers? I'm done with A&P now but I'm just wondering what everyone else was doing or had to do. I think it's unfortunate that all nursing schools don't get the experience of doing cadavers. We did a cat the first night of A&P1 and moved on to the cadavers every time after that. I can imagine there's some similarities but I think it's best to at least do your own species, ya know?


38,333 Posts

I worked with cadavers when I was in school many years ago at a well known school that had a medical school associated with it. When I took anatomy in a local community college we dissected cats. Our instructor told us that we were lucky because the school was discussing doing away with the cat dissection because they couldn't afford the cost.

We dissected a sheep's brain and a cow's eyeball in my A&P class - nothing else. We didn't have any cadavers to look at, either. :|


27 Posts

I did a sheep's brain, a sheep's eyeball, a rat for the introduction to the body systems, and a cat for studying the muscles. I would love to be able to use cadavers but I assume that's mostly for places that have med schools as well, but I only go to a community college.


57 Posts

I dissected a cat... sheep's brain, cow's heart and eye. my class went on a trip to another country to look at cadavers but we didnt get to work on them. the trip was more for a little r&r. my teacher was awesome :)

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,304 Posts

I went to a CC - we had two "new" cadavers for each new anatomy class. The prof insisted on it. I was grateful.


Sand_Dollar, BSN

1,130 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Clinical Documentation Specialist.

API we did a sheep brain and cow eyeball. For APII we get to do a sheep heart, sheep kidney and a fetal pig. We don't do cadavers but I have the Anatomy Revealed CD and it was great.


193 Posts

Specializes in PCU, Med-Surg/Tele, Psychiatric.

Wow, I wish we were able to dissect cadavers!

For the most part we used the same cat for both AP I and AP II. We also did a sheep's brain, a cow's eye, a pig heart, a pig respiratory system, and a sheep's kidney.

I too go to a community college and we have 4 cadavers. But 1 guy went back to his family mid-semester, so we only had 3 for awhile. But a week after school let out they were suppose to be getting 2 new ones...just in time for the human dissection course. Anyway, going through A&P with the cadavers, I really wish all nursing schools had the opportunity to have cadavers. I'm sure much is learning with the cats and whatnot but it's great doing it on the human. We also did dissections on the sheep brain and heart and the cow eyeball and of course the cat the 1st night. I actually miss the dissections....I never thought I'd say that when I remember how nervous and disgusted I was the day before class, lol.

Specializes in Dialysis.

Last semester, we had a sheep brain and a cadaver. (The preservative turned her PINK!) It was really interesting. We almost did eyeballs, but the school ran out before my teacher could get a hold of them. The freaky one last semester were the sagittal cut human heads. EEEW! This semester we are going to do a heart and a kidney. We got to see the cadaver again on the second day. I go to a community college, so it wasn't 'new'.

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