Tech table brings visual aid to health program

Tech table brings visual aid to health program
By Jordan Roberts, Staff Reporter.

Delta College became the third college in Michigan to receive the Anatomage Table this past June. The Anatomage is a simulation table that allows high resolution observation and identification of different systems and structures within the body.

“It’s a good visual aid,” states Janel Arnold, a surgical tech student at Delta. “We can look at different structures and see where they are in relation to other parts of the body.”

The Anatomage offers a practical use of dissection, allowing students to make a cut, and then replace that cut to look at other areas.

Because of this versatility and flexibility, the Anatomage offers some benefits to cadaver labs.

“Well it’s beneficial in a couple of ways,” states Lori Kloc, Delta’s simulation specialist and learning facilitator. “First is that you can have controlled access to viewing the human anatomy in a way that is appropriate for what is being learned at the time. If we had a cadaver and wanted to look at those vessels we can’t really stick them back to where they belong and look at the bigger picture where they went with the heart.”

Before simulation tables, alternatives to cadaver labs were textbooks with models for the structures. “It’s more life-like than using a textbook or a color-coded three dimensional model, and a lot of these alternatives to cadavers are color-coded models.”

The moments where students connect with the information on a deeper level is appreciated by any instructor. Kloc recalls the first time the students looked at the anatomy table and had a light-bulb moment,”They were looking at the brachial plexus if I recall correctly and they said, ‘Oh, it’s not color-coded like it is in the book!’”

Kloc explains that this method of learning is important for surgical techs to know where certain anatomy is and how to protect it during a procedure. “They’ve always ever known it to be color-coded of what it is in a model or a book, but when they stand at the table and the patient is lying in the same position to what procedure they would be doing, they are now able to recognize that system in relation to where it is on that person’s body, not the color that they saw in the model.”

While this table proves beneficial to the surgical tech program, it has been appreciated by many health students and faculty throughout the medical wing.

“We have had a number of students from other disciplines, nursing especially, come in and spend a few hours on the table as we can schedule it,” Kloc states. She discusses the students’ ability to use and manipulate the table and how quick they are able to understand the function of this simulation.

“Within minutes… they get it. They can immediately start applying where they are [for] whatever class or discipline they’re in; immediately start doing something with that touch screen that reinforces what they learned in class, even if they were only in there an hour.”

Other benefits that the Anatomage Table has over a cadaver lab are the lack of chemicals, special requirements such as ventilation, freezer, storage and disposal, lack of regulations and nominal recurring cost.

Since the Anatomage uses software to navigate through the application it needs to be updated regularly, but this is relatively easy. As of now, Delta’s Anatomage table has two cadavers, a male and female. The male is fully accessible with high resolution viewing, while the female isn’t fully rendered yet and needs the final update.

“As Anatomage updates and brings in new features they will send us a flashdrive in the mail to upload the new features,” explains Kloc. “So when the female cadaver model is completed, they will send me a flash drive which I will then be able to apply into the port, and then update will occur and we will have the full female model.”

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