Today I had the privilege of going to the VIVIT experience.
What is it?
“The VIVIT Experience is a nationally award-winning academic experience offering you the chance to participate in a recreated post mortem experience conducted on VIVIT – the worlds only semi-synthetic human cadaver” (BCU 2019)
Click this link for all the details and tour dates: https://www.thevivitexperience.co.uk/birmingham
I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect throughout this experience. I had already seen some photos and posts on social media about this event and it looked fantastic! I had also seen some negative comments that it isn’t worth the money, but I went with an open mind and excited to see what was, what.
As I walked into the room, it was jam packed with enthusiastic healthcare students
and professionals. The whole room was dark with a lovely blue light shining onto the body they had laid out for the show. There were quite a few tables with hidden contents on top – covered with blue tissue paper. I think it’s safe to say, everyone in that room was intrigued to find out what was underneath…
Is it a body part? Which body part? Which organ?
It started off with Scarlet, who is a pathologist and conducts autopsies. I actually didn’t know much about what a pathologist does or what education they had. For those of you who are as clueless as me here; a pathologist is a doctor who has specialised in the nature and cause of the disease. You can read more here.
Her knowledge was amazing! She started us off with the history and the study of physiology – a fabulous place to start I think. She then went on to talk about the anatomical regions (great for those people who aren’t healthcare based) and explained what they look for and how they complete an autopsy. And to be honest, I expected this from the day, I knew it was an autopsy experience. However, what I didn’t expect was the level of education and information provided as we continued.
We also had Will in the room who was doing medical science at the University of Birmingham, we won’t judge him here as we were all Birmingham City University students or friends of… haha. Will was very knowledgeable and really engaging with us, it was great!
They both took it in turns to go through the theory of the body systems, what they do, various conditions that might affect them followed by images on the screen and diagrams of it all. Once they had finished each section, we got the chance to get our hands on the organs! Scarlet and Will showed the room how to dissect each organ properly to see the vital parts of each one. I personally didn’t dissect any organs because I wanted to get some video footage and photos of the event. But all the students there looked like they were having a great time with it.
All in all, I actually really loved the event! There was far more in depth physiology education that I thought there would be. This was a really educational event and I managed to learn a few things, which is fantastic. If you are a Birmingham City University student, there is the ‘Know Your Organs Workshop’ ran by our physiology team which is a similar experience but for free! Book yourselves onto it, watch out for the email invites. You can see the Vlog review with videos and images of the day here: https://youtu.be/BXJl1-SPCwk
Pro’s of the VIVIT experience:
- Really educational
- Great for visual learners like me
- Hands on experience
- Fun, interesting and engaging
- You’re given the chance to ask and answer questions during the event
Con’s of the VIVIT experience:
- You have to pay an extra £10 when you are there for the apron and gloves to handle the organs (but they did say you can take your own with you and you get a printed souvenir book with it)
- They use a lot of medical terminology which might be hard to understand if you’re not healthcare related
- There is only one of each organ per table to possibly as many as 10 people, so you can’t all dissect it
- This day did feel a little bit rushed to me