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Goddard students take a 'virtual field trip' to St. Elizabeth operating room

Goddard students take 'virtual field trip' to St. Elizabeth operating room
Posted at 7:58 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 20:37:09-05

Everyone living through the coronavirus pandemic would love for in-person activities to come back, and now some technology is making that possible.

Doctors and nurses at St. Elizabeth worked with teachers at the Goddard School in Anderson Township to bring a little of the outside work to their youngest students. Call it a field trip where students never left the classroom.

Goddard students take 'virtual field trip' to St. Elizabeth operating room

“I think it’s such a great thing to use the computer to go anywhere in the world,” pre-K teacher Christal Keith said.

Call it a glass-half-full approach in these isolating pandemic times. Instead of using Zoom to talk, teachers made it a portal to places and experiences outside the classroom – like an operating room. The St. Elizabeth medical team showed kindergarten and pre-K students how they use robots in surgery.

A sophisticated subject matter – except in this case the patient was a teddy bear in need of stitches.

St. Elizabeth teddy bear surgery

“I think we wanted it to be less intimidating, feel fun, but also get the message across we are here to take care of people,” St. Elizabeth Healthcare nurse Christina Bryant said.

It's the 2021 version of show and tell. St. Elizabeth general surgeon Dr. Mike Davenport said he enjoyed every minute of it and is happy to share with the next generation, knowing maybe he’s inspiring a bright young mind.

“When we’re 80 or 90 years old, these kids we saw today will be taking care of me,” he said.

The teddy bear surgery captured the attention of the kids.

“When I looked at them on the screen, they were all like this,” Davenport said, imitating the children’s faces. “Oh yeah, all super engaged in it.”

Goddard students Zoom Call

The students used the interactive opportunity to ask questions like, “why do you use a robot instead of your hands?”

“Because with the robot we make small incisions and people have less pain, and I can see better with the fancy camera,” Davenport answered.

He explained the smaller incisions and pincer precision means faster recovery and less hospital time – but that’s not all. The crew at St. Elizabeth sent a more subtle message: when you choose a career – whether it’s robotic surgery or something else – it’s important to find a job you really like.

“Using this platform is the best way I've ever done what I do. That's why I'm passionate about it," Davenport said.

The teddy bear is recovering nicely. He even made a follow-up visit to the school so the kids could see his stitches.