Atlantic General Hospital Visits Worcester County Schools
Atlantic General Hospital’s Visions for Total Health Program has
taken its show on the road for the second year in a row, visiting kindergarten
classes across Worcester County to teach students about the hospital.
Until 2010, it had become a tradition for bus loads of five- and six-year-olds
to walk the halls of Atlantic General, looking at x-ray equipment and
visiting the hotel room-like Sleep Disorders Diagnostic Center to wave
at the technician’s cameras, all the while learning about the importance
of proper hand hygiene and basic physical safety.
The visits were designed to help small children understand that a hospital
is a helping place – not something to be scared of – and pique
that first interest in healthcare.
Due to a temporary change in Atlantic General’s visitation policy
last year because of the threat of the H1N1 flu virus, coupled with state-wide
budget cuts that have limited public school funding for special trips,
the Visions for Total Health Program is starting a new tradition. Members
of the AGH staff have been visiting the elementary schools in recent weeks,
toting along surgical gloves and gowns, an x-ray light box, and test tubes,
to teach the children about the hospital.
“Though the venue has changed the message is still reaching the
children about the helping work that we do at the hospital,” said
Dawn Denton, RN, manager of the Visions community education program at
Atlantic General. “This is a great opportunity for us to reinforce
the message of healthy lifestyles about eating right and exercise. We
are always amazed at how knowledgeable the children are about their bodies,
the safety message and healthy living.”