Donner Trail students gain medical knowledge at Tahoe Forest Hospital |

Donner Trail students gain medical knowledge at Tahoe Forest Hospital

Special to the Sun
Students in lab coats lined up for a tour in October at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee.
Courtesy photos |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — In October, Donner Trail Elementary School students gained medical knowledge by rotating in three groups through three areas of Tahoe Forest Hospital as part of a science field trip.

The students, ranging in age from kindergarten to fifth grade, visited the hospital wearing kid-sized lab coats.

The trip was the finalé of the school’s Human Body Session — covering bones and joints as levers and fulcrums, motor and sensory nerves, organs and how they communicate with each other within the body.

Students also learned about germs and hand washing. Laurel Holmer, Tahoe Forest’s Infection Control Practitioner, led students through two exercises assisted by teachers and parents.

They performed a hand-washing exercise using a black light to show any “germs” they did not wash off their hands. One student noted, “Lots of germs live on your hands!”

They also learned about identifying gram-positive versus gram-negative bacteria using a microscope.

In the hospital’s Emergency Department, they saw how to make a splint and learned about the department and its staff.

Jeff Jackson, RN, Emergency Department nurse, led a hands-on demonstration of how a splint is made in the cast room. The students also received a tour.

Students learned about what patients see in a hospital room. Medical Surgical Nurse, Shana Berger, RN, showed them around a Medical Surgical Department room, explaining the equipment and devices.

Students were able to see one of their fellow student’s heartbeat on a monitor, learning about how our bodies generate the electricity that makes the heart beat.

“The goal,” says Derek Wogsland, RN, who helped organize the field trip, “is to make a positive impression on our local students for many years to come,” because the visit, in addition to allowing kids to learn about what goes on in a hospital, may help spark further interest in science or medicine.

This article as submitted by Tahoe Forest Health System. Visit to learn more.

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