I know it's an old topic, but I truly need your advice

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221 Posts

Your passion is stronger than your fear!

We did cats, and as someone else said, once you get it laid out on the table and focus on the systems, everything changes.

You can't think of it as a poor, little piggie, or a darling little kitty. Tell yourself it's a specimen, a tool, just like a book, or a slide. Soon, you'll be focused on identifying parts, and will forget it was once a living thing. It's mind over matter, like so many other things we'll be faced with in this business.

You CAN do it. :cool:

Believe me....I know how you feel! Our first day of lab in A&P, the insructor told us we were dissecting cats......I THOUGHT.....NOT ME!! I even considered dropping the course because of this, then figured I might as well just do it and get it over with...if I take it over, that cat will still be there waiting for me when I take it again! It wasn't nice....but I got through it. You'll be fine! Good luck!


349 Posts

My cat had a rather disturbing expression on it's face so I found it was helpful to cover up the head (we didn't have to do any dissecting up there) and then it wasn't a problem. This may sound harsh but stiff and cold as they are you think of them more as objects than animals.



5 Posts

You know what's weird is that I don't ever think "oh that poor animal" it's just a weird phobia I have of dead things. It's always very hard for me at funerals. Maybe it's b/c my dad told me one time that when he was working at a funeral and the rigor mortis made a body sit up. I just have this odd fear, but with your support I'll get through it!! You guys are great!

suzy253, RN

3,815 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

You're committed and passionate about this, you'll get through it I'm sure. We had to do cats as well and it did bother me the first couple of labs but my lab instructor was truly wonderful. She understood 100% and suggested covering the face with paper towel which I did...and she always stopped by me throughout lab to make sure I was doing OK. And it's true that after awhile once you get to the organs and such you won't think of it being a cat/pig/whatever. It bothered me in the beginning cos I have cats now and have always had cats...but think how very lucky they are...the spoiled brats! :p


777 Posts

Originally posted by darby1

You have probably heard the saying," The Lord won't put more on you , than you can handle..", right? Well, I wish He didn't trust me so much at times...LOL.

Lord, I so know what you mean and I'm not even accepted yet..


5 Posts

You all crack me up! :chuckle I'm counting down the days and I'm slowly psyching myself into dealing with it.


88 Posts

I remember when I was dissecting thinking that it was just like cooking. You skin the chicken - you skin the cat and so on and so forth. So, if you can cook, you can dissect. The smell is obviously worse but I have heard there are tricks for that like vicks under the nose.

If you find you can't handle it, I would ask your partner if he or she minded if THEY did all the dissecting and you could make it up to them by typing awesome notes for them. Or you can bring in a camera and take picture of the cat/pig for them with little labels and print them out (or develop) to use as a study guide. We usually had one photographer in our group that was in charge of making labels (for examle "quadraceps femoris" and put it on a pin and took a pic of the pin and label in the cat - it really works)

I used to gross out about cooking because I didn't want to touch meat on the bones and I had to get over it being married with kids and all ;) so I think that helped me with dissecting.


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