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Our great friend Dr. Robert Record of Christ Health Center (www.christhealthcenter.org) and the wonderful people at St. Vincent's Hospital (www.stvhs.com) welcomed us for our month of Medicine!
We started with learning about the founders of the hospital, how their faith guides the hospital's services, and why it was needed... A group of Catholic nuns saw the need to treat the growing population working in Birmingham's booming industries.
Jan Gannon, VP of Patient Care Services, served as our guide and we can not thank her enough for the outstanding day she planned for us!
Our first stop was the ER where a doctor and nurse shared their personal stories of being the first in their families to attend college and their individual paths traveled. The kids absorbed some great wisdom about being life-long learners and how no dream is beyond their grasp.
From the ER, we made our way to the hospital's "control center" where patient rooms are monitored and scheduled. The kids learned there is so much more than doctors and nurses that make up a hospital and how technology plays a critical role in its management.
Next stop- the OR where we saw firsthand an operating room and heard about all the roles involved in surgery and how they work seamlessly together as a team. We learned about preventing infection with our cool personal protective equipment and hand washing.
We made our way to a Board Room for lunch where several nurses shared their stories. Chuck, Director of Nursing Administration, talked about growing up in West End without a father and earning both academic and music scholarships to Montevallo where he earned his music degree but later went back to Samford for nursing. He discussed how if the kids worked hard in school they could do the same and earn scholarships to pay for college. He also talked about making their career their passion and loving what you do.
Terri who also is an RN talked about how she went from patient care to managing patient control and the multiple career paths via nursing. She also emphasized being a life-long learner as she is half way through her career and still adding to her education.
None of our kids had an interest in medicine before we started the day, but by the end... half of them raised their hands saying they would consider it as a career!
We finished the day outside enjoying the beautiful weather and discussing Jesus as the Great Physician:
12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’[e] For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” -Matthew 9:12-13
Last month we introduced a new Rewards program where the kids will have opportunities to earn points on each trip by answering questions about the outing and homework assignments. If they earn the required amount of points, they will get to attend a special outing at the end of semester. For example, last month they were given the chance to:
- Answer questions about rock formations, geology careers, & Birmingham steel history
- Provide copy of school report card
- Provide copy of class schedule
- Provide copy of extracurricular activities
Our goal is to provide incentive with real life examples of competition and how working hard at achievable goals generates rewards.
It also gives us a chance to track their progress, assist where they may need help, and encourage when they succeed.