PA students develop confidence by using willed bodies for training

February 23, 2024 • SHP News

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PA Tamara Willmoth

Cierra Black chose to attend The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth in part because she wanted the experience of working with willed bodies.

Practicing skills on human tissue allows students to gain firsthand experience in manipulating and dissecting human tissues, closely mirroring what they will encounter in clinical practice. The dissection allows students to explore the three-dimensional nature of human anatomy, which can be challenging to grasp through two-dimensional images or virtual simulations.

Black, a second-year Physician Assistant Studies student, just began her clinical rotation at John Peter Smith’s Center for Women. She said working in HSC’s bioskills lab has given her an advantage over other students whose programs do not offer the same hands-on training.

“I looked at a lot of PA programs and that was a really big thing for me in terms of coming to a school and investing my time and energy,” she said. “I wanted to be able to study real tissue and not necessarily VR simulated bodies.”

HSC’s PA Studies program recently conducted a clinic using the donated tissue and worked on a range of procedures, including advanced suturing techniques, surgical stapling, and applying regional nerve blocks.

Read more on HSC’s newsroom.