Biomedical innovations students observe open-heart surgery

Watching an open heart surgery isn’t part of a normal student’s schedule at Crown Point High School. But for the Biomed students, it’s part of their curriculum.

Biomed teacher Kelly Chevalier and her students saw a live open-heart surgery in the auditorium, as well as the Biomed class from Lowell High School. Chevalier explains why her students saw the surgery.

“We’re watching the open-heart surgery because it’s a super neat experience that we get to see. Since it’s a live stream, we get to talk to the medical professors, which includes the nurses, the physician’s assistants and the surgeon,” Chevalier said. “For the first year Biomed students, they are just finishing up their nine-week study of the heart and cardiovascular system. It’s nice to put the textbook learning to a real-life application.” 

Chevalier also describes how beneficial the surgery was, and how it could be helpful to the current Biomed students.    

“I believe that it’s very helpful. I think it puts all the big ideas together. We never know what kind of surgery we’re gonna see until we get there. Last year, we saw a heart transplant. This year, we saw an aorta bypass, which is very helpful to our Biomed students because we actually studied bypass surgery,” Chevalier said. 

One student agrees with Chevalier, saying that someone may need to know what to do in surgery if something goes wrong. 

“Yeah, it shows what someone needs to do in that situation. The doctors show that you need to keep calm and to keep being organized. It helps to know what you need to look like and not necessarily what you should do. It shows how you need to act while in surgery,” sophomore Ashley Howard said. 

Freshman Christopher Gloff believes that another benefit of the surgery is the learning experience. 

“Right now we are learning about the heart and involved with the heart, so watching them actually be able to manipulate and perform surgery on the heart helps with our upcoming tests,” Gloff said. 

The future Biomed students are also planning to see the surgery. 

“As long as we continue to get our application in on time and be approved, then we will most likely keep seeing the surgery. We’ll apply in May of 2020 for March 2021. It costs about $400 to do this, so we usually find ways to pay for this opportunity,” Chevalier said. 

Chevalier believes that the surgery inspired the students, and even shocked some of them. 

“Many students, especially those who saw it for the first time were amazed, overwhelmed and a little bit shocked by the reality of it all. I think some students take this opportunity for granted, especially those who have seen it before. But I think overall, they were pretty inspired by it,” Chevalier said. 

The students saw the surgery in the auditorium on March 4 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., while the actual surgery took place at Christ Advocate Hospital in Chicago. Howard comments on her experience watching the surgery.   

“I really enjoyed it. It’s not something you get to see every day. It’s just really cool because normally you would have to actually be a doctor to see that kind of stuff and experience it. We’re lucky enough for them to give us the experience, obviously not firsthand, but we’re still getting it overall,” Howard said.

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