Kids Perform ‘Surgery’ at Medical School

Little doctors point to where their stomach is. Photos by Sarah Brown

Emmet Glidden, a kindergartener at Riverview, laid still on a table while children carefully removed his lungs, stomach, liver and intestines. It was an exercise in identifying internal organs using, of course, stuffed representations of the body parts attached to felt with velcro.

Students and staff at COMP-Northwest hosted their annual “mini medical school” on April 19, providing kids a sampling of the medical field and lessons about the body.

COMP-Northwest has been hosting a mini medical school since 2011 after some of the college students adopted Sarah Haley’s kindergarten class at Riverview for their service learning projects.

“We created mini medical school really because of a student-led project, and then it blew up into a whole field trip for the school district,” said Jeannie Davis, college staff who spearheads the event.

She said it’s a fun opportunity for kids to see what the school is about, but she also hopes it will help them not be afraid of going to the doctor.

“We do surgery, we do hand washing,” she said about the things the kids do at mini medical school. “So when they see those kinds of things (at a doctor’s office) it’s not scary.”

The “surgery” Davis referred to is the station where kids don doctor coats and identify the velcro organs. This was the first year she ordered small doctor coats for the kids to wear that they would be able to take home with them.

“I’ve played doctor before with my dolls,” said Adalyn Clark, of Green Acres. “I played with them like they were sick and then I gave them some of my milk and it make (sic) them feel better.”

Other stations included learning about the heart and heartbeat, the skeletal system and x-rays, and a handwashing station.

Ben Danielson led the heart station where kids saw a 3-D model of a heart, got a chance to listen to their heartbeat through a stethoscope, and participated in a jumping jacks exercise.

Willow Chladek, kindergartener at Riverview, said he made them do the exercise “because our heart can beat faster and you can feel it.”