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Cadaver Lab Adds Hands-on Component to Anatomy Class

Published Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Cadaver lab
Cadavers are used by anatomy programs to enhance the education of students entering the medical field.

A donor provides the learning tool that serves as an incredibly valuable resource for the study of anatomy.

The Wayne State College Life Sciences Department has expanded the human anatomy course to include a human cadaver. Cadavers are utilized by anatomy programs across the country to enhance the education of students entering the medical field. This incredible opportunity for Wayne State students has been made possible through the generous acts of those who elect to donate their bodies after death for educational and scientific purposes. In Nebraska, the donation of human remains is made to the Anatomical Board of the State of Nebraska. This program helps coordinate this unique and generous educational resource throughout our state.

“I’m happy to see our hard work and planning come to fruition,” said Dr. Ron Loggins, Life Sciences Department Chair. “Due to the sensitive nature of adding a human donor to our program, we worked closely with many campus administrators to fulfill the requirements established by the Anatomical Board regarding our facilities. Everyone involved in bringing this opportunity to our students recognized the importance of what we had proposed and were committed to making this happen.” 

The donor provides the learning tool that serves as an incredibly valuable resource for the study of anatomy. This opportunity will enhance the study of human anatomy and prepare WSC students for the rigors of medical school. Additionally, a small group of seniors will be enrolled in a new Advanced Human Anatomy course co-taught by Drs. Loggins and Glenn Kietzmann. In this advanced course, students will have a hands-on experience in which they will expand their knowledge of human anatomy as well as help prepare the donor for use by other anatomy students. 

“This will provide an opportunity for me to learn and practice advanced dissection, which will better prepare me for medical school,” said Ashley Bode of Elgin, Neb., a senior in the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) studying pre-medicine.

“Utilizing a donor for the first time can be an overwhelming experience so it is helpful for students to become acclimated to that environment before going on to professional school where many other students already have some experience,” said Mary Mercier, a senior pre-dentistry student from Omaha. “It is also helpful for those of us who are visual learners; this hands-on activity will give us all a head start toward learning about our future careers.”

“This class provides us with a wonderful opportunity to learn and will be able to better prepare us for professional school,” said Cody Wisnieski of Dodge, Neb., a senior in the RHOP pre-physical therapy program. “This is just another way that WSC works to provide us with the best education possible.”

This summer, the WSC Anatomy Lab will undergo a small renovation to enhance air handling and storage capacity to allow the addition of a second donor. Having male and female donors will further enhance student learning by providing more opportunity for study. 

The Rural Health Opportunities Program is a cooperative program between the Nebraska state colleges and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). The purpose of the program is to recruit and educate students from rural Nebraska who will return to practice in rural areas of the state. This program represents a commitment and dedication to the education of Nebraskans and quality health care for citizens of the state. Participants in the program spend time at WSC and UNMC, with the amount of time at each institution determined by the program.