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Hospital helpers: Preschoolers get an inside look at RMH
United Methodist preschoolers took a tour of Riverton Memorial Hospital before their spring break. Above, Tegan Day watched as Morgan VanKirk donned scrubs, hat and surgical mask from hospital nurse Sarah Gantenbein. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Hospital helpers: Preschoolers get an inside look at RMH

Apr 10, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

A group of short specialists in purple scrubs, hair nets, masks and name bracelets moved through the halls of Riverton Memorial Hospital on Thursday.

"You guys look like little doctors," said Sarah Gantenbein, OB-GYN labor and delivery manager at Riverton Memorial Hospital.

The preschoolers from United Methodist Co-Op preschool were touring the hospital to learn more about the medical field and become comfortable in that environment.

Gantenbein said she organized the event to help children realize that coming to the hospital is not something to dread.

"I think a lot of kids have a fear of coming to the hospital, and we want them to be able to see that there is nothing scary about coming here," Gantenbein said.

Sabrina Schleicher was taking the tour with her 5-year-old daughter, Kylie, who was excited about coming and having her blood pressure taken.

"She really likes the blood pressure cuff and wanted to be able to lie on a hospital bed like a patient would," Schleicher said.

Kylie has gone on the field trip two years in a row.

"Since coming and learning about everything that goes on here at the hospital, she is adamant about wanting to grow up and become a doctor just like Mrs. Sarah," Schleicher said.

The first part of the tour was a trip to the radiology department, where everyone got to see an X-ray and what it looks like to have pictures taken of the bones inside the body. Gantenbein showed the students a picture of a broken arm and assured them that although it hurts to break an arm, it doesn't hurt to come to the hospital.

Students also got to see where they would be taken if they ever had to ride in an ambulance and where babies are born.

"If you were born in Riverton, chances are you were born here, so you can see where your mommy came to have you," Gantenbein said.

The students got to see a hospital room where they might have been born. They also had their heights and weights measured to see how much they had grown since being born.

Pam Hull's 5-year-old son, Jacob, wanted to keep his mask on for the entire tour for the authenticity of looking like a doctor.

"He had to come to the hospital once before when he broke his arm and was really excited to see the X-ray machine," Hull said. "He wanted to see how it worked from visiting the hospital a while back."

Karla Kucera brought her son Blake Gantenbein, who was excited to see where his aunt Sarah worked.

"Blake came to the hospital when his little brother was born, but I think he will really enjoy learning more about where his aunt works," Kucera said. "This really helps the kids learn that coming to the hospital is not something to be fearful of."

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