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5th Graders Get First Hand Experience with Trauma

Students help a dummy patient with oxygen and an IV. 5th Grade students at Springs Ranch were invited to participate in a program put on by Trauma Surgeons through UC Health.  Students were quizzed on their knowledge of the body systems, a unit they just recently finished learning about in their classrooms.  “We just wrapped up a unit on the Human Body Systems so this was a great follow up for students to remember what they learned” said Julie Jablonski, a 5th grade teacher at Springs Ranch.   She went on to explain that  “the purpose of the program is to show students that poor choices can affect your systems”. 

Students class projects of the systems.

Student began with discussion but the presentation switched to interactive when one student received a page about a trauma victim on their way into the “Emergency Room”.  Interns from Memorial Hospital carried in a dummy patient and Dr. Paul Reckard, pediatric trauma director for Memorial, began calling out the names of students who needed to suit up and start working on the patient.  All students were called for a covering for their hair, surgical gown, gloves and mask before asking to perform CPS, assist with oxygen and even administer an IV to the dummy. 


After all students had a turn on the emergency patient, they broke out into groups where the medical interns had pig skin set up for surgery.  Each student was able to use a scalpel and forceps to open the skin, open the wound and work to give the “patient” stiches.  Students were excited for the opportunity to get the hands-on experience and were eager for their turn as the doctor in charge. Some groups even had to dislodge an object from the skin.

Students extract an object from the patient.


Dr. Tiffany Willard, medical student director for Memorial Hospital, began this program in a few local schools but has grown it to about 30 schools a year.  “This program is about injury prevention” shared Willard, who runs the programs on her off weeks from working at the hospital.  Dr. Willard, Dr. Reckard, and 5 interns coordinated the program for the students of Springs Ranch over a 2-day time period. Students watch an intern perform stitches.


Lilly Farnot, a 5th grader in Mrs. Jablonski’s room, gushed “I loved it.  Everything about it.  We got to actually cut something open and stitch it”.  When asked what she learned most from the program, she replied “I learned how drugs can affect every single system in your body, not just one part”.

Lauren Stuart