Science Students Given Hands-On Medical Experience in Sixth Form College’s Operating Theatre Event

Students thinking about a career in medicine were given hands-on operating theatre experience when a touring medical company let them sharpen their dissecting skills on real organs.

Operating Theatre Live visited Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in Southampton to give students the chance to dissect real organs and tissues including brains, eyes, lungs and hearts, in operating theatre conditions.

A group of 46 Year 1 and 2 A level biology students and Year 1 T level Health students took part.

The students, kitted out in full PPE, learnt about organ structure and function and how different diseases affect the body. Before that they learned about infection control, medical ethics and the history of anatomy.

Science teacher Rachel Powell said: “The students were shown how to calculate the anaesthetic dose needed for the casualty and make up the anaesthetic solution ready to be administered.

“They were then given feedback about whether they had under or overdosed the patient. These hands-on sessions were all introduced with some theory and a demonstration, and the Operating Theatre Live crew circulated to help the students carry out the dissections accurately.

“The students received a certification of completion that they can use for their UCAS applications and interviews for university, apprenticeship or jobs.”

She said many of the college’s science students go on to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy. “The content was linked to, but extended past, the knowledge and understanding of human body systems that students need to know for the exams in their qualifications. It was also ideal for any student hoping to apply for medicine, nursing, paramedic science or other related courses in the future,” she added.

Operating Theatre Live’s events, which have been featured on the BBC’s Dragons Den, give students aged over 14 all  over the country live operating theatre experience to help shape and inform their interest in a medical career.

Find out more about science courses at the college at