During the week of April 11-14, 2017, Calhoun Community College will see over 1400 area first graders descend on the Decatur campus to take part in the 17th Annual Let’s Pretend Hospital. Calhoun’s Nursing and Allied Health departments, in partnership with Decatur General Hospital and Athens-Limestone Hospital, hosts this annual event, which provides first graders with ‘friendly’ and age-appropriate information about what actually takes place when someone is admitted to the hospital. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. each day.
According to Bret McGill, dean of Calhoun’s Health Sciences division, Let’s Pretend Hospital will be held in the college’s state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center on the Decatur campus. Students and faculty from the college’s nursing and allied health programs spend months planning and preparing for the event and transferring the building into an age-appropriate hospital setting, complete with games, nursery rhyme characters, and a number of hands-on activities. “All of 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 over 1400 students from public and private schools in Morgan County, Decatur, Athens, and Limestone County are expected to participate in this year’s activity. 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 is an excellent opportunity for the students to see what really happens when you visit a hospital and stay overnight. It gives us a chance to help relieve some of the fears and misconceptions they may feel when thinking about visiting a hospital,” 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.