Future med students watch live surgery for the first time

Female students on field trip“Knowing you can open someone’s chest and see their heart beating, it’s just miraculous,” said Lakota East sophomore, Bea Amsalu.

Bea is one of 13 Butler Tech students who were able to watch a live Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery Tuesday at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati.

“We were literally holding hands and shaking on the way in to watch,” said Makenna Henderson, Lakota East sophomore. “We were smiling so much, I think our cheeks hurt!”

Bea and Makenna are enrolled in Biomedical Science, a high school program that introduces students to major advances in healthcare, including disease management, DNA, forensic science and medical devices.

“The whole concept of the class and program is so different,” said instructor Jim Williams. “It’s not learning by reading a traditional textbook, the students are presented with a problem they must diagnose.” Mr. Williams says often times, the problem to be diagnosed could be a real-life experience.

Many of Mr. Williams’s students (freshman and sophomores) have already identified which area of medicine they plan to pursue. He has future surgeons, including plastic surgeons, and some of these students want to begin first in nursing which will help them gain experience and money, while pursuing their education.

Also attending the field trip were 9 students from Butler Tech’s Bioscience Center, in West Chester. Led by instructor Laura Eby who teaches Medical Terminology in the Health Technologies program, the students watched and listened as the surgeon explained the method he was performing.

The students got to tour the hospital and ask questions about how to achieve their career goals.

“It’s trips like this and volunteer opportunities at local hospitals that really opens a lot of doors for them,” said Mr. Williams.

As for Bea, who plans to study pediatrics and neurology, and Makenna, who wants to become a cardiothoracic surgeon, the field trip is something they’ll never forget.

“Knowing that the surgery was in real time- wow!” said Bea. “It wasn’t like watching a YouTube video. We were actually there, experiencing the surgery with the surgeon which added a new depth of understanding.”

“It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Makenna.