In June 2017, students from Henderson North Primary School visited Waitemata DHB to support their learning programme about the human body. The event was attended by approximately 60 pupils aged five and six, teachers and parent helpers. The session ran for 90 minutes, and each group was given 10 minutes at each station.
The event was a coordinated effort from staff across the organisation delivering experience based activities. There was representation from Community Engagement, Rangatira (Children’s) Ward, First Aid, Auckland Region Dental Service, Patient Experience, Public Health Nurses, Pacific Services and Planning and Funding.
What have we done?
During the school visit different activity stations were set up including:
- First Aid - CPR
- Paediatric nurses, Rangatira Ward - Role of nurses and doctors, listening through a stethoscope and wearing hospital gowns and bandages
- Dental – Find the dental picture in the mobile health clinic, plus activities associated with looking after your teeth
- Empathy Zone – Star tracing (visual perception difficulties), beading a necklace with gloves (loss of sensation in hands), putting on a hoodie whilst wearing a sling (undertaking everyday tasks with an impairment)
- Public Health Nurse – "Sore throats matter"
- Colouring – Five a day colouring
Children were given a health passport to collect stamps as they moved from one station to another.
At the end of the session, all children went into a prize draw. The 12 prizes included- drink bottles, skipping ropes, juggling balls and pens.
Did we make a difference?
The children were asked if they learnt something new at the session and if they had fun:
- 98% learnt something new (49 out of 50 students)
- 94% had fun (37 out of 39 students)
Henderson North School Staff Feedback
The staff provided positive feedback about their trip and had some suggestions to improve future events.
- Overall they described the trip as excellent with fantastic activities, and they were “lucky to enjoy such a great day”
- They liked that the Waitemata DHB staff were positive and energetic, and delivered their activities in a way that worked for the children
- The children enjoyed the variety of activities, liked collecting stickers for the health passport and loved the prize draw
The teachers were so impressed with the ‘Visual Perception’ activity that they asked if Waitemata DHB bring the activity to one of their team meetings to demonstrate how a child with visual perceptual difficulties may have difficulty differentiating between ‘b, d, p, q’, filtering out visual distractions, discriminating between sizes of letters or objects, or they may reverse their letters or number while writing. We have agreed to do this and built a box for the school to keep and use as needed.
Waitemata DHB Staff Feedback
"I feel that for some of the children ‘hospital’ may represent feelings of uncertainty by their own experiences, so this event, creating a ‘hospital’ setting for them to come and interact is such an awesome idea for everyone.”
"I thought the event went really well and could grow into an inspiring calendared event, I haven't seen anything like this in other DHBs for this age group, it's pretty wonderful. To expose them so young and to let them experience in a positive environment is very empowering for them."
Where to from here?
The event was highly successful and enjoyed by all. In 2018, the Patient Experience and Community Engagement team are keen to support other schools that are teaching their children about health. An event of this nature provides practical learning opportunities and supports the school learning programme.