Follow-up cadaver lab program post


Forum Ride Along
This is a follow-up post to this thread:

This program went forward and seemed to be an overall success. We had some issues with getting participants through a local fire service. I contacted the local paramedic program at a community college and they seemed interested but ultimately blew me off.

We had 25 participants, about 18 of which were paramedics; the other 7 were fire academy students who had not attended basic school yet. Much of this was the result of coordination issues; dates couldn't be set too far out based on coordination with the simulation lab, cadaver lab, and fire department. Those that attended were also not on duty, so convincing people to show up for something with no reputation on their off time proved to be an obstacle.
We did a one hour lecture of anatomy pulled from the medical school curriculum that was "high yield" and most applicable directly to common pre-hospital procedures and medical conditions that are immediate life threats. There was, of course, physiology refreshers and even some intro to histology sprinkled in to illustrate some of the pathology associated. Q&A was held after with few questions.

Participants were then taken upstairs to an adjacent lab where the rules and layout of the lab were established. We had 5 prosected cadavers open as well as a sagitally sectioned head/neck showing the brain, sinuses, pharynx, larynx, and trachea, a pair of lungs to show the parenchyma, large vessels, and secondary/tertiary bronchi. Each table/station had an anatomy faculty or fellow to give a basic presentation of what structures were being emphasized with the cadaver and orient the participants; they were then allowed to inspect and handle the cadaveric tissues. Faculty/fellows were present to answer questions and provide clarification. This lasted about 50 minutes.

Students were then brought to the simulation center and faced with a decompensating asthmatic that ultimately ends in respiratory failure where they were expected to clinically manage the patient, get an airway, and monitor appropriately following. Sim center faculty debriefed the participants on the case. Participants then met back up to provide feedback. The overall feedback was positive; many of the paramedics and the training officers loved the access to resources. This will be an ongoing program annually in the fall.

All to say, if you have a local medical school, they very well may view your interest in their lab as an opportunity for students to get some hands on teaching experience. It is access to resources that most departments/schools do not have, so take advantage; it was a great experience from the teaching end and the feedback indicates that the sentiment was shared by participants.


I know a guy who knows a guy.
What a fantastic opportunity. I’ve attended several cadaver labs and have taken away something new each time. Well done!