Feline Dissection - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   AntMarchingRN
    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!
  2. by   ashleyjbholmes
    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.
  3. by   CT Pixie
    I'm so thankful that my A&P had no disection.
  4. by   Exhaustipated
    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.
  5. by   jetsy62
    Great advice AntMarchingRN. I am starting school in the fall and I will utilize your advice.
  6. by   mclennan
    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........


    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.
  7. by   Exhaustipated
    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.
  8. by   CrunchRN
    I switched classes to a teacher who did not require participation in this practice. That was 22 years ago and I have done just fine as a nurse without needing to do this.

    Gimme a human, gimme a pig, but not a cat or dog. I would appeal. Nobody should be forced to do this.

    In this day and age i find it amazing that they would still be doing this on so many different levels. Maybe they could give you an alternate assignments.

    Do you have a link to the info about breeding them for this purpose? That is something I want to join efforts to end.
  9. by   gaonsi
    Quote from YouwishiwasyourCNA
    Thanks everyone. I would have no problems doing a human, because its human anatomy and I know that human didnt get euthanized for my learning. I guess I'm just gonna have to grin and bear it, it just makes me so sad. I actually started to cry when my biology teacher confirmed they were from a farm. Prior to that I was certain it was just a vicious rumor. Thanks for all the kind words. Xx

    "No day but today"
    Just keep it professional. Don't be overly emotional. It'll get in the way of your learning. Just like in a code, keep it professional, think in the moment, make wear clinical decisions for the betterment of your team, and cry on your way home. Your semester will be over before you know it. Chin up. You'll be five. Excuse yourself when you need a break. I'll also warn you about the smell. Not to scare you, but so it's one less thing you'll be overwhelmed with.
  10. by   irizarryj
    I also had to do the same thing. theres was a girl in my class that couldnt tolerate the smell or chemicals due to pregnancy. the teacher hard her dissect a cat online, being able to identify certain muscle and ligaments was the biggest issue during my class. talk to the teacher. their might be other options.
  11. by   CrunchRN
    It really burns my britches that they are still doing this in this day and age. What a waste as it is totally not needed. There are many other ways to teach the same info.
  12. by   Glycerine82
    Quote from CrunchRN
    It really burns my britches that they are still doing this in this day and age. What a waste as it is totally not needed. There are many other ways to teach the same info.
    Me too. My professor was really sweet about my reservation. She said "we will help you get through it ". She is this adorable 70 something year old who ...get this... Made us lunch!! I didn't tell her I wouldn't do it but I did tell her why I take issue. I just wonder if its worse to not participate, because then the little furry guy died for nothing....

    "No day but today"
  13. by   CT Pixie
    Quote from YouwishiwasyourCNA
    I just wonder if its worse to not participate, because then the little furry guy died for nothing....

    "No day but today"
    The littly furry guy won't be 'wasted'. He's packed full of 'lovely' chemicals. He'll be used by someone else in the next A&P class.

    I do understand your reservations. If these poor cats are being bred and born only to be killed for disection, that's crazy. While I'm not a fan of cat/dog disection in A&P classes I'd feel better knowing the poor thing wasn't born just to die to be a specimen.