X-rays, Fake Germs, Wheelchairs Make Play Hospital Fun
May 8, 2012 ~ Child-size laboratory jackets, X-rays of a pumpkin, and a reflex hammer helped make Briarwood Elementary first-graders comfortable with the idea of going to the hospital. In fact, Olathe Medical Center's Play Hospital field trip experience has made this point with thousands of children since it started 27 years ago.
"Students are always excited to go to Play Hospital," first-grade teacher Becky Conner said. "They love being able to be part of the action."
There's plenty of action at Play Hospital, starting with a hug and a high-five from the hospital's mascot, Medi Bear. A few students are selected to portray patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiological technicians, and other key hospital staff. Nurse Ginny Adams presents three scenarios where a child might need medical care.
"We make it a fun experience so they don't feel afraid to come to the hospital," Michele Noble with Olathe Medical Center's Education Department said. "Sometimes we plant the seed that they might want to choose a career in healthcare."
First-grade teachers taught about the food pyramid and body parts and organs before the field trip, and students wrote in their journals after seeing Play Hospital. Their comments included:
- "You should wear a helmet when you ride your bike and you should only take medicine from an adult you know."
- "We learned about lots of hospital jobs."
- "I learned you need to wash your hands after you sneeze or cough."
|Two students escorted Medi Bear into the Play Hospital classroom and later learned that he was “sick.” Special powder was used on their hands and faces to represent germs that could only be seen under a black light.|
|Riding in a wheelchair was the first of many unique experiences these students had while attending Play Hospital.|
|By the end of the 45-minute presentation, all attendees had received a blue hairnet just like surgical staff wear.|
Presenter Ginny Adams told students that drawing blood feels a little like pinching your arm.
A knee reflex hammer was used to see how this mock bicycle accident patient would respond. With a little help from presenter/nurse Ginny Adams, the kick was very impressive.Photos by Marlene Colgan