Heart of the Matter

“Whatever that yellow is in the right ventricle is what’s causing the issue.”

Principals of Biomedical Science student Samantha Reed made quick work of identifying the problem area as she and her group stood over a dissected sheep heart.
A series of hearts, each with different damage, sat in trays at the back of the classroom. Students had to assess the damage and solve its origin, examining just the heart and reading a biography of the “patient”.

“It’s been really cool. I think we’ve learned a lot more about this. I really didn’t know about the heart before this – the different parts, the different ways the blood flows. Now I know,” said Reed, who wants to become a homicide detective. “Right now we’re learning about the science behind the death of Anna Garcia (a fictional subject of the class), but we’re also solving why and that goes right along with what I would like to do.”

The students examined hearts that had different causes of damage: congenital (from birth), congestive (develop over time), or infection.
“You get to see all the different valves and how they work and how complications can affect the whole heart. It’s really cool to see all the different parts of the heart and how they work together,” said student Sidney Crisanti.

Crisanti wants to be a pediatrician. She says this class is making her more confident in taking that career path.

“The class is introducing you more into the medical field and it’s showing you all the different parts. We’ve done an autopsy report, we’ve looked at brain samples in front of a microscope to compare a normal brain with one that has suffered a traumatic brain injury,” said Crisanti.

“Hopefully they’re putting together complex concepts. I want them to make the connection between the anatomy of the heart and the function of the anatomy of the heart to be able to diagnose problems,” said teacher Jeff Nolan.

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