An Interactive Training Experience

The work we do is most definitely more than a job, it’s a commitment to always do the best we possibly can to help patients. With this in mind, we attend mandatory training and also choose additional training that we hope will improve our clinical practice.

Recently, some of the team attended The VIVIT Experience. The concept was shown on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den. This has now developed and has a range of highly regarded learning programs. The day was not for the faint-hearted. We were confronted by a very realistic cadaver, complete with organs that have been sourced from animals, already in the food chain, so not breed and reared specifically for this purpose.

The day was led by tutors who have extensive knowledge and skills to undertake post mortem examinations. Post Mortem examinations take place to identify the cause of death. They do this by examining both the outside of the body and all internal organs and structures in minute detail. We approached the day as if we were undertaking a real post mortem. The purpose of the training day for us was to gain a better understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology. We looked at each body cavity and its contents to see not only what the structures looked like, but their relationship to other organs. This allows us to understand the effect that a damaged organ, for example, the kidney may have systemically.

Once we had been given the basics, we got down to the task of dissecting organs. Although this was a little daunting, it did not smell too good, we donned aprons, gloves and masks and began to work through the body systems. This was both fascinating and informative, for example looking at the heart, in particular, the valves and chordae tendineae and how they work together to hold the bicuspid and mitral valves in place when the heart is pumping blood.

As you would expect we all had our own areas of interest. We all felt that we had gained a better understanding or a reminder of what happens throughout the body in life and how damage or loss of function in one area impacts on other body systems. This was, of course, interesting, but perhaps even more importantly, will prompt us to consider what might be going on when presented with an unwell patient. We can then decide what the best course of action is. We may start treatment of acute symptoms to manage the patient’s presentation and then transfer to the most appropriate facility.

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