Calhoun to Host 19th Annual Let’s Pretend Hospital

April 2, 2019

Decatur, AL — During the week of April 8 – 12, 2019, Calhoun Community College will see close to 1200 area first graders descend on its Decatur campus to take part in the 19th Annual Let’s Pretend Hospital.

Calhoun’s Nursing and Allied Health departments, in partnership with Decatur Morgan Hospital and Athens-Limestone Hospital, hosts this annual event, which provides first graders with ‘friendly’ and age-appropriate information about what actually takes place when someone is admitted to the hospital. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. each day. According to Bret McGill, dean of Calhoun’s Health Sciences division, Let’s Pretend Hospital will take place in the college’s state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center on the Decatur campus. Students and faculty from Calhoun’s nursing and allied health programs spend months planning and preparing for the event and transforming the building into an age-appropriate hospital setting, complete with games, nursery rhyme characters, and a number of hands-on activities. “All of the information presented in this mock hospital setting is done on a non-threatening, first grade level,” said McGill. Dr. Lynn Hogan, Nursing department chair at Calhoun, says that first-graders from public and private schools in Morgan County, Decatur, Athens, and Limestone County are expected to participate in this year’s activity. As in past years, the students will tour the various areas of the ‘hospital’, learn about such things as germs and hand washing, when to call 911, and what happens should you have to be admitted to the hospital. The ‘mock’ hospital will include an admissions office, ER, hospital patient room, operating room, x-ray, and discharge area. Students will also explore the College’s ambulance and have a chance to test the siren.

“This annual project gives Calhoun’s Nursing and Allied Health departments the opportunity to partner with two of our largest nursing employers, Decatur Morgan Hospital and Athens-Limestone Hospital. It also gives our students first-hand experience in developing creative methods of teaching and to observe normal growth and development of first graders,” commented McGill. “Close to 200 of Calhoun’s Nursing and Allied Health students will participate each day in the event,” he added. “This event not only represents a great opportunity for our students to provide a community service but also provides the first-graders with information and the opportunity to start thinking about careers in healthcare,” said Calhoun Nursing instructor, Dr. Jennifer Louden, event organizer.

Calhoun currently offers health programs in Associate Degree Nursing (RN), Practical Nursing (LPN), Emergency Medical Services (EMT/EMS and Paramedic), Dental Assisting, Surgical Technology, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Medical Laboratory Technology. For more information on Calhoun ‘Let’s Pretend Hospital’ or any of Calhoun’s health-related programs, contact the Division of Health at 256/306-2804 or 306-2794, or the Calhoun’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 256/306-2560.