This week, the Science Department at Bromley High School held its first Live Operating Theatre event for a selection of GCSE and A-Level students.
The event was a unique opportunity to allow school pupils to hone their surgical skills, prepare and administer anaesthetics and practise the art of amputation in a medical environment over the duration of a single day. The day was hosted by Sam Piri from Operating Theatre Live, who also sits on the interview panel for medical students at The University of Manchester.
A fascinating insight into the medical world was experienced by all participants as they anaesthetised a “resuss Annie” before removing the brain and eye from the skull of a pig carcass to examine some of the internal organs in mammalian subjects.
An investigation of the trachea and the lung system followed before moving on to a “heart transplant” and dissection where the pupils removed the heart from their sample, swapped with another group of pupils and re-attached the new heart using the correct surgical stitches.
Battling the odours of the digestive system was a task many of the participants had to deal with prior to practising their amputation skills, again using the carcass of a pig.
Rebecca Seed, a Year 12 pupil said: “The girls and I had so much fun despite being stinky at times and found it so interesting. This has definitely had a positive impact on our desire to study anatomy or medicine further”.
Dr Adrian Rowley, Head of Science at the school said: “The whole experience was fascinating. To be able to give our girls this practical experience and insight into the day to day life of medical student is invaluable in helping them make informed choices about their future vocation. I did not see a single girl without a smile on their face throughout the day.”
The whole day was funded by The Parents’ Association of Bromley High School and the school's Science department is indebted to them for their support.