Anatomy and physiology lab instructors await a laboratory addition: a cadaver

Kianna Collins
Assistant A&E Editor

Troy University’s biology department is getting a cadaver this semester, and it is expected to improve the quality of the anatomy labs.
A cadaver is a dead body that is intended for dissection for scientific purposes. It allows students to learn about skin markings, muscles and to be able to identify nerves and internal structures of the human system.
“They need to see it in reality,” Gaston said.
Troy’s Montgomery campus already has two cadavers after their renovations to their labs.
Janet Gaston, a biology professor, went to the University of South Alabama and saw the gross anatomy lab, which had cadavers, and began to talk to them about teaching a gross anatomy lab in Troy.
Another option was incorporating cadaver study into the undergraduate program in Troy.
“It’s a phenomenal opportunity for students,” Gaston said.
One of the main obstacles that prevented Troy University from having cadavers in the past was the absence of a proper filtering system installed in the anatomy lab.
The process of acquiring the proper filtering system took three years for the physical plant and the university to put that in place.
“We moved to the 203 lab and have ordered a gurney, so the cadaver will be ordered as soon as the gurneys are in,” Gaston said.
There’s also a lot of paperwork involved in acquiring a cadaver, which includes signing paperwork with the family of the deceased.
“It’s better to be introduced in an undergraduate level so they’re prepared for medical school,” Gaston said.
The cadaver coming to Troy later this semester is going to be used in anatomy and physiology classes.
“Having a cadaver is a lot better than dissecting rats, because it allows students to have experience with the human anatomy, instead of limited experience with rats,” said Ashley Nelms, a sophomore biology major from Hayden.
“It allows students to have an edge when they enter medical school, and to be able to learn and maneuver around cadavers,” Gaston said.
“It helps advance our department and shows that Troy University is looking forward for their students,” said Amber Arrington, a freshman biomedical sciences major from Troy.
Troy’s campus will only have one cadaver this semester, but it hopes to have two by next year. The University of South Alabama will be the source of the cadavers that come to Troy.

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