A group of Lincoln Elementary students earned their white coats after completing a day of ‘mini med school’ April 27 at Dignity Health–Community Hospital of San Bernardino.
About 20 fifth graders toured the hospital as a follow up to Dignity Health’s 2017 Great Kindness Challenge in January, aimed at creating a culture of goodwill and happiness in schools. Learning everything from how to draw blood to getting prepped for surgery, the youngsters were given an up-close look at what it takes to have a career in the medical field.
“I want to be a nurse so it was really cool to see them work in the hospital,” said fifth-grader Camila Sanchez, 11.
For student Mathew Moreno, 11, seeing how the inside of the body functions and taking a look at x-rays in radiology was “really cool.”
“X-rays were my favorite part,” he said. “You can see the inside of your bones and watch how food goes down when you eat. You could see it all.”
And that was the type of excitement hospital representative Michael Bettencourt was hoping the tour would stir inside the students.
“These are our future doctors and nurses and surgeons,” said Bettencourt, director of patient experience. “It’s more than just having a career day and bringing speakers into the classrooms. It’s about bringing the students into the career so they can experience what the working environment is like and how everyone has to work as a team.”
As part of the visit, students toured the hospital’s departments including radiology, lab and even suited up for surgery to assist the hospital’s Director of Surgery, Angela Theroith-Fraser.
Prepped for surgery, the junior surgeons learned the roles of the anesthesiologist, nurse and surgeon and “worked” on a patient handling actual surgery tools.
“I expect to see you guys taking care of me one day,” said Theroith-Fraser.
The event was a follow-up to 2017 Great Kindness Challenge, according to a news release from Dignity Health. The Great Kindness Challenge, which took place in January, aimed to create a culture of kindness in elementary, middle and high schools locally and worldwide.