Concorde Students use Surrogate Body Parts

health care training

At Concorde, we always like to point out the "hands-on" and "real-world" health care training we provide our students. That means our Surgical Technology students practice actually assisting during surgery. Medical Assistant students practice suturing. Dental Hygiene students practice cleaning teeth. Obviously, Concorde students don't practice surgery on a live human body. They don't suture live human flesh. They don't extract a molar from a live human mouth.

Have you ever wondered, however, what Concorde students use as surrogate body parts during their health care training? You might be surprised at what some of the answers are. To get to the bottom of these riddles, we enlisted the expertise of a couple of our resident Concorde experts - Bonnie Merschdorf, Surgical Technology Program Director at Concorde's campus in Miramar, Fla., and Adrienne Conca, AAS, AA, BAS, CST, Surgical Technology Program Director at Concorde's campus in Orlando, Fla.

What Concorde uses as surrogate body parts during health care training

"We use mannequins, along with small models that simulate the layers of the body and structures," Merschdorf said. She said she has at her disposal several containers with preserved small animals but has yet to open them. "We plan to look at them," she said. "They were used for the anatomy course that is now taught with all of the degree programs."

Dissecting body parts as part of health care training

Conca said she starts her students out early in Anatomy and Physiology II classes by bringing in cow hearts for them to dissect. "Our anatomy professor, Dr. Evans, blocks out a day for it and makes it very informative and educational for the students," Conca said. "When our students get into the core Surgical Technology courses, we do use mannequins to simulate the patients for draping and also use Deltec simulators that attach to the mannequins that enable us to simulate actual surgical procedures, such as the appendectomy, bowel resection, and total abdominal hysterectomy."

"We want to be able to initiate our students to the profession in a more realistic way, so we do also take our early core students to the operating room on tours. This enables them to see real surgical team members at work, speak with them, and get a feel for the environment prior to externship." Sound like fun? If getting to dissect cow hearts or working on mannequins sounds interesting to you, it might be worth checking out the Surgical Technology, Medical Assistant, Nursing or various other programs Concorde has to offer. Just go to to learn more or contact your local campus to speak with a representative.

health care job interview

Follow Concorde on Social Media

Vang graphic

“Concorde was one of my best vehicles that helped me gain the confidence I needed to change my life. … It all started with a vision, a will and Concorde.”

Lucy Vang
Medical Assistant Graduate
Brown graphic

“I think it’s an amazing school. When I sat down for boards, I felt more than adequately prepared. If you put the work in, your success is almost guaranteed.”

Kontessa Brown
Dental Assisting Graduate