Students get hands-on science lesson on health care

Published 10:56 am Sunday, January 16, 2022

Stefanie Viator, a fourth-grade teacher at Our Lady School, transformed her classroom last week into a hospital operating room to give her students a hands-on science lesson on body systems.

“I decorated my classroom with the help of my family. I wanted the students to be surprised when they walked in on Monday morning. They had no idea we were transforming the classroom,” she said.

The week’s lessons focused on how each system works independently and together, she said. Students completed “organ transplants,” “determined blood types” and familiarized themselves with the human skeleton all decked out in lab coats, badges, surgical booties and surgical gowns to set the sene.

Email newsletter signup

“When it’s realistic they really dive into it, I think. They feel like it’s real and that’s why I wanted the IV poles and the IV bags. I wanted as many realistic things as possible.”

Viator incorporated science, reading, math, religion lessons and practical knowledges into the lessons. “They wore their lab coats with their badges and then they had to change into the surgical attire…So, we learned about why you can’t go in there (the operating room) with your same badge and lab coat that visited 20 patients that day.”

Similarly, Viator taught students about the real-life necessity of patient confidentiality as they worked with their confidential patient files. “I wanted for them to realize the reality of it,” she said.

“Kids deal with truth so much better than we think sometimes…We do a lot about the saints because we’re a Catholic school and I always tell them, ‘It may make you a little uncomfortable but this is truth.’ I feel like they tend to remember truth better.”

In addition to working in the surgical setting, students researched and made presentations on saints related to the medical field and also made cards to send to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The week culminated with from Jamie Service from Oschner Christus St. Patrick Hospital visiting the students to answer questions about health and hospitals. “The kids had some really great questions and they always enjoy someone different coming into the classroom,” Viator said.

Christus Ochsner St. Patrick hospital also donated surgical gear for students to wear during the week and West Cal Cam Hospital provided IV poles.