This week, the Nursing and Allied Health departments at Calhoun Community College, in partnership with Decatur General Hospital and Athens-Limestone Hospital, will host the 14th annual 'Let's Pretend Hospital' for area first graders. The event is scheduled for April 8-11, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. each day.
According to Brett McGill, dean of the Health Sciences division at Calhoun, "'Let's Pretend' is a project that provides first graders with 'friendly' and age-appropriate information about what actually takes place when someone is admitted to the hospital." The 'hospital' is assembled in Calhoun’s state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center on the Decatur campus by nursing and allied health program students and faculty, who spend months planning and preparing for the event. "All the information presented in this mock hospital setting is done on a non-threatening, first grade level," said McGill.
Dr. Lynn Hogan, Nursing department chair at Calhoun, says that close to 1300 students from 18 area public and private schools are expected to participate in this year's activity, the largest attendance in the history of the event. The students will tour the various areas of a hospital, learn about germs and hand washing, when to call 911, and what to do should their clothes catch on fire. The 'mock' hospital will include an admissions office, ER, hospital patient room, operating room, x-ray, and discharge area. Students will also explore the College's ambulance and have a chance to test the siren.
"This annual project gives Calhoun's Nursing and Allied Health departments the opportunity to partner with two of our largest nursing employers, Decatur General and Athens-Limestone. It also gives our students first-hand experience in developing creative methods of teaching and to observe normal growth and development of first graders," commented McGill. "Close to 200 of Calhoun's Nursing and Allied Health students will participate each day in the event," he added.
“This event not only represents a great opportunity for our students to provide a community service but also provides the first-graders with information and the opportunity to start thinking about careers in healthcare,” said Hogan.
Calhoun currently offers health programs in Associate Degree Nursing (RN), Practical Nursing (LPN), Emergency Medical Services (EMT/EMS and Paramedic), Dental Assisting, Surgical Technology, Physical Therapist Assistant, Fire Science, and a Clinical Laboratory Technology.
For more information on Calhoun 'Let's Pretend Hospital' or any of Calhoun's health-related programs, contact the Division of Health at 256/306-2804 or 306-2794, or the Calhoun Public Relations Office at 256/306-2560.