Area students view live knee surgery

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2003

For a couple of hours Wednesday, classrooms at Ironton High School and Rock Hill High School were turned into surgical suite extensions.

Students from both high schools got the opportunity to watch and then ask questions about a knee replacement surgery, broadcast live from Mt. Carmel East Hospital in Columbus. The purpose of the interactive activity is to give students a realistic view of the medical field, as well as some information about what careers are available in medicine and what education is required for them.

"I hope they learn how much technology has advanced and how the health field is an exciting field to go into," IHS biology teacher Linda Gagai said. "There are many different professions. You don't have to be a doctor."

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The students were linked via satellite to the hospital. The surgical staff explained what they were doing as they went along, and fielded inquiries about such things as what the replacement part was made of, how long the patient would need to heal and what caused the osteoarthritis that led to his knee problems.

Going in, IHS student Talia Howard was a little apprehensive. "I've never seen anything like this before," she said. "I'm afraid I might get sick."

Other students found the procedure fascinating. Some are already planning careers in the medical field and found the experience helpful and not nearly as unsettling as might have been expected.

"Why wait until you're in medical school before you see this?" Lanesha Daniels said. She plans to be a perinatologist, and work with high-risk newborns.

Last month Rock Hill students watched an open heart surgery via satellite from Mt. Carmel Hospital a joint effort by the hospital, COSI and Cardinal Health.