Students at Taunton School have been getting the ultimate medical experience this week in a live operating theatre. Operating Theatre Live took over the Old Library and transformed it into a scene from Casualty.
Wearing surgical gowns and hats, students on the specialist Pre Med Programme and scientists in Year 11 and the Sixth Form, got a real insight into careers in medicine as they got to grips with dissecting parts of a pig.
They took part in a real heart transplant, including an angioplasty procedure and fitting a pacemaker, discovered the anatomy of a brain and eye and learnt real surgical techniques. They also got to amputate a leg and reattach it, remove intestines and practiced giving anesthetic injections.
The experience for students hoping to establish a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and many specialist medical roles, was invaluable as places to study these courses at University are highly competitive.
Edward Mathias, an Upper Sixth student, said: “It is great how the school is offering this experience to us. We are getting an in depth insight into what it is like to be a doctor and it could make or break that decision for some people. It has also been interesting to hear about what it is like personally to be a doctor and how it affects your life.”
Callum Hudson, also in Upper Sixth, said: “It has been really good hands on experience of what an operating theatre is like, seeing the different anatomy that you don’t get to see in the class. It’s quite cool.”
Caro Wedgwood, Head of Biology and Pre Med Programme, said: “This is above and beyond what the students can see in the classroom and the exposure to practical experience prepares our students to have a realistic understanding of medicine and the wider medical profession. It shows the students the reality of the job and helps them decide if it is right for them and what other options they have. We are committed to preparing our students for university and helping them make the right career choices.”