Hands On Surgical Experience For Local High School Students

Students view surgery at UNR

More than 60 high school students from Truckee, North Tahoe and Incline High Schools had first-hand surgical experience under the guidance of an orthopedic surgeon in the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Advanced Surgical Training Lab. Students enrolled in advanced placement biology, and human body systems classes at local high schools scrubbed-in to view and participate in a total knee replacement surgery.

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Andrew Ringnes performed surgery on a cadaver while giving in-depth explanations throughout the procedure. The high school students had the opportunity to use the surgical instruments and participate in the operation. Following the surgery, students toured the medical school’s anatomy and physiology lab.

Dan Coll, MHS, PA-C, Surgical Physician Assistant and Director of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Tahoe Forest Hospital has organized this field trip for three consecutive years with the help of the Tahoe Forest Health System’s surgical support staff and the hospital’s orthopedic surgeons.

“This field trip is an incredible learning experience for these students, and informs them about career opportunities in the medical field,” Coll explained. “From the surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical physician assistant, OR RNs, to the surgical tech and other support staff, there are many positions that play a vital role in healthcare.”

The experience made a big impact on students such as Mariana, who said “This was the real-deal and reinforced my interest in being a nurse. The surgical experience was so great and it gave me a chance to see if I can really handle it. Now I know I can!” 

“TTUSD is committed to ensuring our students are college and career ready by the time they graduate. Hands-on learning like this surgical experience make a huge impact on our students and gives them the opportunity to learn first-hand about multiple career opportunities in the medical field,” said Superintendent Chief Learning Officer Rob Leri with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. “We are so grateful for our amazing community partners who made this unique learning experience possible for our students.”