When you first decided to study the human anatomy there must have been a reason. Perhaps you are planning on becoming a Doctor or Nurse, or some other type of health care professional. Actually some people opt to study it just out of personal interest. Anyhow you were probably thinking that you will be studying the different systems, the organs and perhaps some illnesses.
You probably didn’t give much thought to the basics. For example, to be able to study properly, you will need to learn how to divide the body into parts. I don’t mean the systems. When you have to learn about how something works, you must dissect it to see what its made of up. The same applies in human anatomy. Visualization is going to mean everything in your studies. By learning how to visualize the body in sections, will help you when it comes time for the study in the other areas. These sections are particularly important when it comes to medical imaging.
When you come to this section of your learning, take a piece of blank paper, and draw it into four equal boxes. As you start with a section put a sketch , along with the information for that particular section in one box. Now do the same in the next three. You will have 4 separate blocks of information, but when you look at the paper as a whole it is the entire human anatomy. This is an excellent way to start training your mind how to visualize.
You will probably then go on to learn about position and direction. What this means is what the relationship of one organ is to another. A neat way to learn this is to have the full body drawn on a piece of paper. As you learn the different positions and directions draw a box arrow on the diagram showing its direction. (a box arrow is a fat arrow that you can color in).
Lets take an example. Suppose you are given the terms, cranial, superior, rostra. What are these terms referring to? You probably got a hint from the word cranial, as it is a fairly common term. So what these terms mean is, they refer to a structure being closer to the head, or above another structure of the body. So draw a arrow pointing up from the top of the head. Color the arrow in, (now you can write the explanation in small writing, point form beside the arrow. Put a box around the writing and color it the same color as the arrow.
Lets do one more. You are given the term anterior, ventral. This means that the structure is more toward the front than another structure of the body. So draw a fat arrow on the chest pointing out. With a different color, fill in the arrow. Again in small letters write in the meaning, and put a box around the writing in the same color as the arrow.
Continue doing this for each of the terms and positions you will be learning. At the end you will have a condensed study sheet.
It must be pointed that when referring to these terms it is when the body is in the standard anatomical position, which is the body standing erect, limbs extended, palms of hands facing forward.