Stuttgart High School offers many wonderful opportunities to its students; recently, students from Mrs. Stephanie Payne’s AP Biology and Anatomy and Physiology classes were given the rare opportunity to observe an advanced surgical team in action. Students, along with Mrs. Payne, traveled to Sindelfingen on two different occasions to witness a series of surgeries at Sindelfingen Hospital.
“I was amazed by the surgeon’s characteristics of thoroughness and confident finesse,” remarks Zac Simanski (SHS‘12), “[I became] fascinated with all the procedures.” Not only was Simanski amazed, other students were also enchanted by the remarkable human body.
Throughout their days at the hospital, students were enthralled by six different procedures: two knee replacements, a hip replacement, a slipped disk repair, a shoulder replacement, a fractured wrist repair, and a prostate tumor extraction. A class favorite among the technology and equipment used was a computer facilitated arm nicknamed “The Spider;” the mechanical arm snipped and probed, internally removing prostate cancer while displaying its movements on a screen of students to observe. “[The surgeries] are incredibly valuable to my students because they are a unique experience,” comments Mrs. Payne,”and allows students to gain first-hand knowledge of how these operations work.” Further, observing these operations facilitates a deeper level of understanding about how the body works that is unheard of in a classroom setting. “I was dressed in scrubs and crocs and socks at the same time,” Katharine Cunningham (SHS’18) laughs, “but it was amazing to see what it was truly like to be a doctor in the OR.”
The students who joined Mrs. Payne on this incredible trip are passionate learners of the way the body works and all of the amazing things it can do. The observation of different surgeries allows students to narrow down future career fields and gave them a level of life experience that many young people do not have the opportunity to obtain. “This experience totally fueled my passion and curiosity for the human body and medical field,” says Simanski, “This trip solidified my decision to venture into the medical field with confidence.” According to Mrs. Payne, while all of the surgeries are important to her classes, the orthopedic surgeries have a closer correlation to the things her students are currently learning and allow them to visualize all of the things they are learning about. Katharine Cunningham further comments, “You can read about [the surgeries] or hear about them, but you can’t really understand what it’s like until you are actually standing there watching it happen.