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Calhoun Health Students to Augment Classroom Instruction With Cadaver Lab

March 28, 2018

Next week, students enrolled in nursing and other allied health programs at Calhoun Community College will have the opportunity to enhance their classroom and clinical instruction with the unique experience of training on cadavers. Calhoun is one of only a few two-year colleges which provide allied health students this rare opportunity.

The students will train using the cadavers Tuesday, April 3 – Thursday, April 5. “The cadavers provide valuable insight to our students into how the human body actually works,” commented Bret McGill, Calhoun’s Dean for Health Sciences. “This experience allows our students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding about how the body systems function together and provides them the opportunity to better understand the concepts covered in the lecture and labs than could otherwise be gained in a traditional clinical setting,” added McGill.

According to McGill, all students enrolled in Calhoun’s allied health programs will have the opportunity to participate in the cadaver lab experience. “Our paramedic students will be able to practice an IO or Intraosseous procedure, where a needle is placed into the canal of a bone, in this case the humeral bone.” McGill said.

Additionally, healthcare professionals from across the region, as well as an advanced Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) high school class from West Limestone will participate in the labs. “A local dentist who currently assists with our dental assisting program will also be on campus to conduct a class on forensic identification using the teeth of one or more of the cadavers,” commented McGill.

The Medical Education and Research Institute (MERI) in Memphis, Tennessee is providing the cadavers. MERI is a non-profit organization that specializes in hands-on training and medical education of health professionals and students. Calhoun received grant funding to cover the college’s cost to transport the cadavers, and is partnering with Alabama EMS Region One (AERO) on the project. AERO is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of building better emergency medical services across the following north Alabama counties: Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall and Morgan.

“This very unique opportunity is also allowing our students to practice life-saving skills such as advanced airway technique, on actual human bodies instead of the simulated mannequins we have in our labs,” McGill said.

“In addition, because the experience is being facilitated by trained healthcare professionals, our students are able to ask questions and to participate in meaningful discussions on-site, which further expands their skills and understanding of the concepts they are learning.”

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