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‘Breathing’ Pig’s Lungs Help Sutter Kids Learn About Healthcare

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Our Services, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento | 0 comments

It was just one of several intriguing, interactive displays during 2017 Bring Your Child to Work Day

Landen Hughes, the son of PICU nurse Jolynn Hughes, doesn’t know what to think of the “breathing” pig lung display at Bring Your Child to Work Day Wednesday. With him is big brother Kaden.

SACRAMENTO — Forget the pig’s lungs or cow’s heart. Kayla Hussey’s favorite display at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento’s Bring Your Child to Work Day on Wednesday was diapering a life-like infant mannequin.

“My favorite part is definitely the babies, because I’m a ‘little people’ person and the station is so cute. We even got to put Pampers on them,” said the 12-year-old daughter of Ellen Litle, a social worker in SMCS’s Advanced Heart Therapies Program.

When asked if the event helped convince her to pursue a career in healthcare, Kayla said, “I probably won’t go into the medical field, but I’m liking what I’m seeing.”

Mom Min He, who works in the Clinical Lab, smiles as her daughters Wency Li, right, and Wengel Li pet pygmy therapy horse Lilly, whose handler is Pharmacy Coordinator Melanie Welcher, left.

To that, her little sister, 8-year-old Grace, piped in, “Maybe I might go to medical school!”

Kayla and Grace were two of the 130 children of employees at Sutter Health’s flagship medical center who participated in this annual event, which was coordinated by SMCS Human Resources Partner Judy Lesh and committee members Vickie Fontes, Joyce DelaCruz and Annie Lamy.

Children are enthralled as Certified Nurse Specialist Terry Lehman, left, explains how to perform CPR.

“Children want to know what their parents do at work,” Judy said. “What we do is save lives, and it doesn’t matter what department you work in. We are all working as a team to save lives and to give the greatest care to our patients. So it gives kids the opportunity to come and see what their parents do every day.”

Danielle, left, and Gabrielle Rosario, daughters of Registered Nurse Maria Daisy Rosario, count jelly-bean “pills” with a pharmacist’s spatula.

Children were given “passports” and rotated in groups of 10 through each of the 13 stations, learning about the various departments at the hospital – from Cardiac ICU and Diagnostic Imaging to Bio-Med, Nutrition Services and Central Supply. Representatives from the departments put together colorful, interactive, kid-friendly presentations educating children about their daily work. Among the activities:

Angelo Bencken, 6, the son of Maternal/Newborn Nursing Assistant Ruby Bencken, was dressed to start work as a cardiologist.

  • Pharmacy had children use tools to count out “pills” (actually, jelly beans).
  • Emergency Services brought back last year’s hit, a cow’s heart, for the children to see.
  • Rehab/Occupational Therapy had wheelchairs, crutches and walkers for the kids to try out.
  • The SMCS pet therapy group, Paws-on-Call had dogs and the popular pygmy horse to pet.
  • At the Clinical Lab station, children could look through a microscope to view a blood sample, and they raced to fill plastic pipettes (eye droppers) with fake blood.
  • Anesthesia Services had kids try their hand at intubating a mannequin.

“Through this, the kids get interested in healthcare,” Judy said. “And I think they find this event to be helpful for their future career opportunities. They may be little – they’re just 6-12 years old – but they’re already interested in healthcare.”

Owen Hughes, son of Jolynn Hughes of the PICU, learns how to intubate using a mannequin and monitor.

This year, one of the more talked-about displays was the Pulmonary Department’s pig’s lungs, which hung from a stand and were inflated with air as if they were really breathing. The children even got to touch and squeeze them … wearing plastic gloves, of course.

“Many of the kids were grossed out by the pig lungs,” Judy said. “But those who are most interested in healthcare want to touch it. They’re very curious about it.”

Oliver Castillo and his sister, Violet, proudly display their nearly full “passports” for the event. They are the children of Maternal/Newborn Nursing Director Jessica Castillo.

And, for the record, Kayla thought the pig’s lungs were gross. Grace, though, had a different opinion of the lung display. “It was awesome!” she said, enthusiastically.

Their mom thought the entire event was great. “It’s so wonderful to bring my kids to work and to show them all the different fields in medicine, and to get them excited about learning,” Ellen said.

Evan Dill, the son of NICU Registered Nurse Alison Dill, limps while learning how to use a walker.

Maternal/Newborn Assistant Hurse Manager Elizabeth Raschke shows children how to diaper a baby with an infant mannequin.

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Our Services, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento | 0 comments