Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical Center has a partner in nearby McCarver Elementary School, and once a month, six selected students get to take the short walk to the hospital with their co-principals for a field trip that gets their imaginations churning. One student from each grade, recognized for good behavior and citizenship, enjoys a healthy lunch of a salad or sandwich in the St. Joseph cafeteria before touring a chosen department in the hospital.
Most recently, the students toured the Sports, Orthopedics and Spine Health Center, where they walked over a mock set of stairs used to test leg rehabilitation, visited a nurse’s station for monitoring patient vital signs and saw a recovery room. The field trips give the students an inside glimpse at what it’s like working in health care, and shows them that hospitals aren’t so scary.
The partnership between St. Joseph and McCarver Elementary began four years ago. Many of the students are at-risk and come from low-income families, and the partnership offers the hospital an opportunity to give back to the community and inspire young minds. The partnership is also a great example of the many ways Washington hospitals are working with their communities to foster a bright future.