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Echosonography – Phoenix Campus – Heart Dissection

Cardiovascular Echosonography students at the Phoenix campus ended and intensive 6 month study of Echocardiography. Their studies included learning about many pathologies directly related to the heart and associated findings throughout the body that either have a direct impact on the heart, or are directly impacted by various types of heart disease.

The dissection module was both fun and challenging. Students were presented this challenge.

“You are harvesting a Porcine valve for a Heterograft Aortic Valve replacement. Dissect the aortic valve with all three cusps intact and include the annulus of the valve. The entire structure needs to be in one complete non-damaged piece”. (In our dissection we actually used sheep hearts instead of pig (Porcine) hearts.

Take a look at what some of the students had to say:

For six months as a class we learn about the different concepts of the heart and how as echosonographers we can make a difference in people’s lives. Dissecting the heart was a great learning experience. Not only were we able to make different incisions to see different views of the heart, but we were able to put together everything we learned in class and put it into perspective. One of the tasks we were asked to do was to dissect the aortic valve with all three cusps intact, including the annulus of the valve. Although the task was a great challenge, we were able to identify the different structures of the heart and see for ourselves firsthand how incredible the heart really is.
-Alyza Gutierrez

After months of gaining a plethora of information about the human heart and related pathologies, we had the incredible opportunity to connect what we see on echo daily to the actual anatomy of the heart. On Thursday, June 12 the Echo class had the wonderful opportunity to dissect sheep hearts in class. This was a great chance for us to get some “hands-on” experience with a heart that is roughly about the size of a human heart. We were able to identify and touch structures many of us have only read about or seen on echo. We were free to choose the manner in which we would dissect the heart but we should make the attempt to extract the aortic valve with the annulus, all 3 cusps, intact. This made the dissection very challenging and I think many of us discovered a new appreciation for the expertise cardiac surgeons must have in order to replace valves. 
-Rhonda Kaleikilo

Thank you to all the West Coast Staff for facilitating this wonderful experience for the Echo B class.
-Sandy Holzer

We had such a great time that Shanel Oliver, Director of Education joined us too.

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