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4 Ways to Avoid Feeling Sick During Dissections

5 years ago / Hidden

It is very common for people studying Biology to face several issues during their practical classes. The students especially complain of nausea when they have to perform dissections in the practical labs.


A medical student may need to dissect several specimens during the course of his/her study. It includes frogs, rats, cockroaches, snails and many more. The reason due to which they might feel sick can be many and it is important to avoid them as well. These points will help you to avoid the issues of feeling sick during a dissection associated with Biology.

Avoiding the smell

The overwhelming smell that you encounter in the Biology lab is owing to the smell of formaldehyde. The specimens in the Biology lab are preserved using formaldehyde, which can cause nausea, and vomiting among students.

If you cannot resist this smell and if it tends to make you nauseous, then consider covering your face with a mask. In this way, you will be able to work without having to smell formaldehyde much.

Take a break if needed

Many students can be seen to push themselves even when they are feeling sick during a dissection. This is a very common mistake and can have diverse effects on the student, both physically and psychologically. You may also want to look at a Frog Dissection Worksheet.

If the feeling of nausea has been bothering you for a very long time then you should consider taking a break. Step out of the lab and enjoy some fresh air. The suffocating environment within the Biology lab could contribute to you feeling sick and nauseous. In extreme cases freshen yourself, drink some water and puke if needed. Puking is natural, but should only be your last resort.

Chew a refreshing mint is possible

There are certain easy ways by virtue of which you can avoid the nauseous feeling within a Biology laboratory. A mint for example can be a great way to cover up the smell of formaldehyde. While chewing mint, the strong flavor ensures that you do not perceive the smell of formaldehyde.

Similarly there are many strong flavored chewing gums and candies you can take into consideration if mint is not your thing. It is recommended that you seek the permission of the teacher or the lab assistant since having mint and stuff is not a normal practice during dissection.

Use gloves and carry a sanitizer

Sometimes the feeling of nausea can be purely caused due to psychological reasons. It could be the perception of the mind, which makes one feel unclean and disgusted. If you are having special problems handling specimens because of the smell then you can make the use of gloves and hand sanitizers.
Both of these will ensure that the formaldehyde odor does not stick to your hands after the dissection. It will also help you to get rid of any unwanted germs and bacteria.

If you are able to follow the aforementioned steps, then you can address most of the problems. You must remember that sickness in this case is a state of mind and you can counter by virtue of proper preparation.