Lincoln-Way Students Observe Surgery, Take Lesson to Heart
Friday, March 6, 2015

About 270 Lincoln-Way High School students received an eye-opening lesson during Live from the Heart, a program coordinated through the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry that allows students to watch a live, interactive video broadcast of bypass surgery from Advocate Christ Medical Center.

For years, students enrolled in Lincoln-Way Human Anatomy & Physiology classes have participated in the unique, field trip which allows them a behind-the-scenes look at their career interests and options.

Its an amazing experience for students to see a bypass surgery from the opening of the chest cavity to closing, said Kristen Neuberg, Lincoln-Way West teacher. Students also had a chance to communicate with doctors, nurses, and operating room staff, asking questions during the procedure and learning more about all of the careers within an operating room.

The procedure was done beautifully, said Lincoln-Way East senior Jason Carli who plans to attend Creighton University and wants to be a physical therapist or emergency room nurse. We had first-hand experience to a miracle; we didnt think that the heart could be stopped and the person could remain alive. It was exciting and intimidating.

Lincoln-Way East teacher Scott Fletcher said each year students get the opportunity to observe a different surgery, including a valve replacement and a quadruple bypass.
You can talk about an experience through and through, but until you actually see it, you dont fully understand what it entails, said Fletcher. The experience coveys the level of complexity in the procedure, seeing the machines keeping the person alive, the team working together, seeing the inside of the chest while the heart is beating and the lungs are working.

There is always a lot of awe and enthusiasm on the bus ride home, Fletcher said. For many, its a motivator to see the end result of what they want to be and for others, its an affirmation that they dont want to work in a surgical room.

The experience really made me appreciate the field of medicine and the professionals working in it, said Ryan Nolan, a senior at Lincoln-Way East, who plans to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago and become a physical therapist. I was impressed that the doctors were able to answer questions while they were operating.

Lincoln-Way West teacher Camille Gonzalez-Jensen said her students are always fascinated by how doctors harvest and extract the veins for the bypass.

One of the reflection assignments I have the students do is share their experience with another person, said Gonzalez-Jensen. This is a great way for them to explain what they saw, and how it impacted them and their career choice.

After the surgery, students learned about risk factors and prevention techniques associated with cardiovascular disease, even for those who possess genetic risk.