A chilly October morning is not the best time to take an outdoor shower, but some of the students from the medical technology course taught to Northview and Southview high schools had to do just that recently to wash away imaginary hazardous material as the result of an imaginary accident.
The premise was that a school-bus accident sent 15 children to Flower Hospital with a variety of injuries, including those at the rear of the bus who were exposed to a hazardous material.
It was part of a preparedness drill for hospital personnel and a good learning experience for the students, according to Pat Johnson, a registered nurse who teaches the med tech course.
Ms. Johnson said the relationship with the hospital and with the emergency medical personnel of the Sylvania Township fire department is a valuable tool for giving young people a variety of experiences with those who work in the field of medicine.
Jonathan Jones, security supervisor at the hospital, stood at an outdoor tent overseeing the procedure in which the students who had been contaminated by the spill showered before going into the emergency room.
He said their clothes were all to be bagged and sealed to control any contamination.
Audrey Blaisdell, a high school senior who is considering going to medical school, said she was interested in watching how each of the professionals worked and how they worked together as a team.
Ms. Johnson said that during the drill, students were able to observe emergency personnel, X-ray technicians, nurses, and other specialists in medical care.
The class particularly benefits from being on the receiving end of treatment, she said.
"We shadow doctors and other professionals, but it's good for them to see what it's like to be on the other end. It helps them develop empathy," Ms. Johnson said.
She said the students each write a report of their experiences, including criticizing anyone who seemed curt or didn't follow what they thought were appropriate procedures.
Not only is the experience good for the students, but it provides valuable feedback for the hospital, she said.