CHIPPEWA FALLS — Micah Atkins placed his fingers on the screen and flipped through several images of an actual cadaver. Even though Atkins has only used this new imaging system a few weeks, he found the device easy to learn.
“This is a really cool, accurate model,” said Atkins, a Fall Creek High School senior. “There is just a lot of room to learn. It’s a very valuable tool.”
Atkins is among nine high school students enrolled in the Healthcare Academy at Chippewa Valley Technical College at the Chippewa Falls campus. The class is aimed at high-achieving students who are planning to enter the medical field.
CVTC recently acquired an Anatomage Table, which is roughly seven feet long and three feet wide, and it can display images of multiple different cadavers, taking exact images of actual people. The touch-screen, which covers nearly the entire table, allows students to look at a variety of images, such as just the skeleton, or just muscles, or the nervous system. The table costs about $90,000.
Julia Brown, CVTC life science instructor, said the Anatomage Table offers a lot of possibilities to students and is better than working with an actual cadaver, as there are no worries about how to obtain a body, store it, dissect it or deal with odor or waste.
“I’ve worked on many cadavers,” Brown said. “This isn’t as intimidating, and it makes it a lot more fun.”
Brown is impressed with the details and quality of the images, and she agreed that it is user-friendly for students.
“These are 3D models loaded in,” Brown said. “We can scroll through the body. We can turn it in any sections we want. It’s neat to look at the different bodies to see their unique structures.”
Elizabeth Anderson, a Fall Creek High School senior, is planning to attend Minnesota State-Mankato next year and enter the nursing program. A school counselor suggested she enroll in the CVTC Healthcare Academy, which meets in the morning daily. She then takes classes at Fall Creek High School in the afternoon. Anderson shared the enthusiasm for the possibilities offered with the new machine.
“I think it’s a great learning tool, to see the whole picture and see all the perspectives,” Anderson said. “I think it’s a really great learning opportunity.”
The table is essentially a high-functioning computer, and more cadaver images can be loaded into the system when they become available.
The CVTC Foundation received a donation from the Rutledge Charities that paid for a portion of the machine, said CVTC spokesman Mark Gunderman. Students in the class also come from Altoona, Bloomer and Cornell high schools, he said. They all will earn 14 CVTC college credits from being in the year-long class.