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Over the last two months, the current day-time LPN students from Southeastern Technical Institute toured the Ether Dome, Paul S. Russell Museum and participated in a simulation experience all at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Practical Nurse Instructor Carol Miller accompanied them.

The day began with an always interesting subway ride to Boston on the Red Line! Upon arrival at MGH, the students met with docent in the Ether Dome to learn about the room and the first documented surgery performed there. William T.G. Morton demonstrated the first public surgery using anesthetic (ether) on October 16, 1846. Students were introduced to Padihershef, the Egyptian mummy who was given to the hospital in 1823. According to, on May 4, 1823, MGH received from the City of Boston an Egyptian mummy, complete with painted wooden inner and outer coffins.  The ensemble had been given to the City by Jacob Van Lennep, a Dutch merchant living in the Greek city of Smyrna in the early 19th century.  It is thought that Mr. Van Lennep, who was also the Counsel General of the Netherlands, bought the mummy as a gift to Boston as a way to impress his native New England in-laws. Student Jennifer Macneil of Plymouth was pleased with the museum, “To my surprise it was anything but boring. Everything from the story of the first successful surgery performed using anesthesia to the real life mummy was intriguing to me.”

Next the students toured the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum. The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation opened in April 2012 showcasing Massachusetts General Hospital’s long-standing commitment to innovation. The nearly 8,000-square-foot facility hosts exhibits and programs on medical topics such as the evolution of health care, laboratory and clinical research as well as patient and family support.

The students then participated in a simulation experience organized by Exhibit and Education Specialist Tegan Kehoe and Program Administrator Avni Khatri. The students were introduced to a scenario of a patient presenting with various symptoms and instructed to conduct an assessment and talk it out to see what the diagnosis would be and how to care for this patient. Simulation with an adult mannequin was done by Dr. Smitty. Each student then had an opportunity to use the instruments to perform arthroscopic surgery on a knee and to retrieve objects that were implanted during simulation of the knee done by Dr. Patel.

Practical Nurse Instructor Carol Miller was thrilled with the experience for her students, “The guidance from both physicians was fabulous. They clearly enjoy teaching and sharing their knowledge.” “Overall, the day was an incredible experience. I got to see the huge change in medicine and nursing over the past 150 years, and see how lucky we are today,” said LPN student Taylor Sanborn of Brockton. Brittany Allen also of Brockton said, “It was nice to be in a different setting all day. It taught me to think simple first and to work off the team around me. My classmates impressed me with all of the knowledge they were sharing as well.”