Eighty-six, fifth-grade students from Garfield Grade School, were the latest to participate in a school year end tour. Children touring the hospital were able to observe the Decontamination Tent being set up. They learned about its usefulness in removing hazardous materials from someone in an emergency response situation.
When Dianne Smith, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator asked, “How many of you are farm kids?” she had several hands go up. Dianne talked about how many chemicals are necessary on the farm and explained that some of them can be dangerous. Common agricultural chemicals include fuels, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and veterinary chemicals. Exposure to chemicals can lead to health effects including headache, poisoning, respiratory illness, burns, cancers and birth defects.
The Decon Tent is setup in the ER Bay area so a patient can be initially treated before entering the hospital. Clay County Medical Center conducts yearly preparedness drills in order to be prepared when a hazmat response is needed. Dianne told the kids about an incident where a farmer was exposed to chemicals and explained how the “Decon Tent” was used to help him and keep the emergency personnel safe.
A highlight of the tour took place in the Education Center of the hospital. The children were able to have hands on experience with the CPR Manikins.
“Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths”, said Michelle Owen, Education Coordinator. "It consists of two easy steps: call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that) and push hard and fast in the center of the chest. "
The popular song, Staying Alive provided the rhythm and beat for hands-only CPR. The students were able to realize how tiring it can be to keep doing chest compressions for only a minute of CPR. Michelle encouraged them by saying, “Keep going until EMS arrives and remember you are saving a life”. Clay County Medical Center offers a Heart Saver First Aid CPR & AED course for the community.
The final stop of the tour was the Mark A. Chapman Wellness Center, where fitness instructor, Gary Hall explained the purpose of the different equipment in the room, the benefit of eating healthy and getting enough exercise each day. “Did you know there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can of soda?” asked Hall. “Soda can cause tooth decay and weaken your gums. It is important to limit the amount of consumption and stay hydrated by drinking water.” The goal of the Mark A. Chapman Wellness Center is to provide the opportunity to improve health and fitness for all ages and ability levels.