For the first year ever, students in St. Albert will have a chance to check out some of the technology, research and work at the Sturgeon Community Hospital as part of Sturgeon Hospital Week.
The week kicks off Jan. 24 with a staff luncheon and runs until Jan. 31, where educational seminars will be held at Red Willow Place.
For Katherine MacMillan, the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation's committee chair for the Hospital Week, one of the most exciting parts of the event comes after the week is technically over, where the hospital is putting an emphasis on educating young minds.
“Ever since I joined the (hospital) board, I've been looking for a way to get students involved because they're our next generation. They're the generation that will be using this hospital,” MacMillian says. “I've always said that this is our hospital and we all have a responsibility to make it be the hospital that we want it to be.”
To help engage students, two open houses have been arranged for Feb. 5. A tour will be available from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the general public, and there will also be a tour starting at noon for up to 80 students. MacMillan says she hopes to expand the tour over multiple days in the future so more students can participate.
Students will be taking 15-minute tours of four areas of the hospital: Medical Device Reprocessing, respiratory, the facilities department and clinical engineering.
The tour will involve different demonstrations and simulations – including diagnostic imaging and how blood is taken. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“The operating room is something that really is exciting because we're displaying upper limb bones and drills,” MacMillan says. The students will also be checking out the orthodontic clinic.
“We're going to be casting some students, and endoscopy will be there.”
There will also be a surprise along the way – but MacMillan doesn't plan on spilling the beans early.
"We're really quite excited about it," she said.
"I am over the moon that we've got the kind of response that we've had from the school districts already."
Students will also be visiting the Coronary Care Unit (CCU), the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and the Labour, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum room (LDRP).
As for the Hospital Week itself, educational seminars will go from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 and will feature speakers Kim Edwards from Dare to Care and Kimberly Poong from Alberta Health Services. The duo will be co-presenting on bullying and how it affects mental health.
“We have brought in who we thought are two awesome speakers to address a topic that we think is very relevant and timely in this generation,” MacMillan said.
The seminars are free and open to the public with no registration required, but it’s probably a good idea to get there a little early.
“It is first-come, first-seat, and we do expect it to be quite full,” MacMillan says.
In addition to the open houses and seminars, the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation is having a staff luncheon on Jan. 24.
“It's our opportunity to showcase and thank the wonderful staff that we have at the Sturgeon Hospital,” MacMillan says.
The week's capstone event – the annual Friend Raiser Gala – will take place Jan. 26.
For more information on Sturgeon Hospital Week, call 780-418-7361 or visit https://sturgeonhospitalfoundation.org/hospital-week/.