Some anatomy students suffer fainting spells

Graphic videos lead some students to feeling “slidey” according to anatomy teacher.


Kellie Salmond, Staff Writer

Anatomy, the science concerning the bodily functions of organisms, animals, and other living things is known to make people squirm. However, Anatomy teacher Hollington Lee often finds that some students do more than just squirm— at least one student faints every year in his class.

What is it about the science class that makes students pass out? It can be as simple as discussing blood, seeing a picture, or watching a surgery be performed. Lee says “four to five students fainted in the last few years.”

Mr. Lee has been teaching for 23 years. He started in 1995 at Cambridge High School. In 2001 he transferred to LHS and has taught biology and anatomy for 17 years.

Lee said these fainting spells only started happening a few years ago, and he thinks there’s more to it than just videos of childbirth, vasectomies, and fertility treatments. Childbirth involves three stages of labor: the opening of the cervix, birth of the baby, and the delivery of the placenta. Vasectomies involve the removal of the vas deferens, or of a portion of it. Fertility treatments consist of various methods or procedures for women and men to increase the woman’s chances of having a baby.

“At the beginning of the year students don’t know what to expect. Combine this with heat, dehydration, not getting enough sleep, and a morning class and it doesn’t sit well with a [graphic] science topic,” Lee said.

Students also may not know that these topics make them feel faint because they’ve never been exposed to them, and the fainting usually stops after the beginning of the year. Lee thinks after a few months “students start to know what to expect.”

The first time Lee had a student faint, he said he “had no idea and was freaked out by it.” Since then he has become more prepared for these situations. He now has an “action plan” which is to have the closest person to the phone call the nurse while he tends to the student. Lee has learned what to look out for when a student is about to faint, and is calmer when dealing with it.

Lee now starts the year in his Anatomy classes with a talk to students about feeling “slidey.” If they see a student around them sliding out of their chair, announce it to someone and try to prevent them from hitting their head. Also, he says if you’re the one feeling “slidey” announce it to someone and try to fall on the side of the desk that has an armrest.