Ora et labora
~St. Benedict

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ready to Operate

Seton Family of Hospitals presented their 20th annual Mock Surgery & More event for visitors to learn about various surgical procedures.  It was such a great experience for children of all ages, even adults. 

The tour was self guided, so we were able to take our time, plus pick and choose the activities based on our interests.  They had a lot to offer, even a therapy cat that the boys thought hung the moon.

TnT scrubbed in & went on their rounds, meeting emergency personnel, doctors, technicians, nurses, fire fighters, Star Flight crew, and many other health care professionals and first responders.

Their first medical procedure involved stapling a wound together with a surgical gun.  Afterwards, they removed or rather ripped out the staples...ouch.  Thankfully they did not practice on real people.


Next, they tried their skill at retrieving candy with a tool used for laparoscopic gall bladder surgery.  The nurse held a light and camera in the cavity, which transmitted a picture to a video monitor.  It was interesting watching the boys do this because their sense of direction was challenged, left was really right and vice versa.  They were confused for a couple of seconds, then figured out the challenge of using the monitor for guidance.  The candy was a great motivator!


The sugar buzz lent us time to visit an assortment of patients in the vicinity.  Some patients were having trouble breathing or had fevers, and one was even vomiting.  Yup, perfect entertainment for the boys, definitely held their attention.  

Another activity that we happened across was especially suited for younger children.  It was a fine motor activity that could easily be replicated at home or school.  Little T performed cataract surgery like he had been doing it all his life.  He was very focused and determined to make the felt eye cataract free.

Now everyone has their off days, and celebrities are no exception.  We actually saw two famous characters at the hospital.  Luckily Elmo was in recovery, but Shrek was not so lucky and made the unfortunate choice to eat several small sponges. Contrary to popular belief ogres are not built like tanks, so the boys had to stick a tube down his throat to help pull out the obstructions.

TnT's favorite part of the whole tour was getting to volunteer as emergency patients themselves.  The RN in charge created very inventive accident stories for the boys, complete with bumpy rides to the hospital. 

We were at the hospital for over two hours, but did not quite manage to visit all the stations.  It is a field trip that we will definitely have to take again next year.  The hospital and staff did a phenomenal job hosting this free event. 


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