Students to witness heart surgery, pump surgeons for information

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City will host students as they watch a live open-heart surgery.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City will host students as they watch a live open-heart surgery.

by Michelle DeMaria, Staff Writer

An open heart surgery will be observed by students on a field trip to the Liberty Science Center this Friday.

On Nov. 20, the cardiac operation is being “streamed” so that the operating room of the hospital can be seen live by the students on the trip.  After last year’s trip to the same venue when a live kidney transplant was observed, Mr. John Arlotta, school principal, and biology teachers Mr. Mario Porciello and Ms. Jennifer Ammirata felt the trip would be valuable to continue.

“It was an incredible experience to see the doctors and nurses perform the [transplant]… The whole idea of seeing the surgeons have someone’s life in their hands and seeing how the technology worked was fascinating. This year we thought to try and see a different surgery. We had a few options but we really were enticed by the cardiac surgery,” said Porciello, who will be chaperoning the visit again this year.

Not only will everyone get to watch the doctors live in action, but they will also be granted the opportunity to speak to the surgeons about what they watched once the surgery is finished.

“This trip is unique because each student has the opportunity to ask a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or nurse specific questions and they can develop an understanding of how the heart works,” Porciello said.

The closest many students going on the trip have gotten to an actual operating room is what they have seen on TV shows or read about, but many look forward to watching what it is really like to see a medical professional operate, as opposed to watching actors operate on TV.

“I wanted to see if a real surgery is different from what I see on Grey’s Anatomy,” said Grace Cunningham, (’17) who will be attending the trip this year. “It is a once in a lifetime chance to see an open heart surgery and if I have the opportunity to see it now, I should take it.”

Whether students are attracted by potentially working in the medical field, wanting to get a feel for what it is like in an operating room, or just hoping to explore outside of the classroom, the experience will be inimitable to students of all grades.

“I am looking forward to seeing what a human heart actually looks like,” Cunningham said.

The live kidney transplant last year left an impression on those who took part in the trip, including Danielle Levi (’17).

“One part of the surgery in particular that stood out to me was when we saw the difference between arteries and veins,” Levi said. “We were able to ask the surgeons questions and I ended up taking a lot of notes. I am interested in finding a job in the medical field, and I found the trip to be extremely informational.”

The live stream is as close as many students can get to a surgery of this magnitude, making it a unique educational experience for those who are thinking about being doctors someday, even if it doesn’t directly relate to what is being taught in class.

“There is nothing that will get you closer other than physically being in the operating room, so this experience is a great way for our students to get excited for their potential future careers,” Porciello said. “One of the most important components of learning is being excited about learning the material.”