SHA third graders play nurse for the day at Chaminade

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sacred Hearts Academy third graders got to play nurse during a field trip to Chaminade University Thursday.

"Today I'm learning about the respiratory system and about infections and wounds," said Joelyn Maeshiro, a third grade student at Sacred Hearts. "My favorite was the infections because it was all pink and it looked kind of cool because you can use the doctor's equipment and you got to look inside."

Chaminade University's nursing school hosted the girls for a simulation suite, a series of hands-on laboratory skills activities. Students examined human patient mannequins and performed health assessments on each other. The goal was to inspire young women to become interested in careers in the health care industry.

"This is helping me because it teaches people how to be nurses and I wanted to be a nurse so it could teach me a little before I grow up," said Chloe Yoshie Kanayama, a third grader at Sacred Hearts.

Tiffanie Kanayama, assistant professor at Chaminade, said this is the first time elementary school students have come through the labs.

"The girls here are incredibly blessed to be able to come," she said. "We're trying to get a partnership with Sacred Hearts because we are Catholic sisters. They're so fortunate to get to come and be in our simulation suite."

Kanayama added that most of the human simulators cost about $100,000, not including the extra equipment to run security, AV and other computer systems. One of the simulators was a little more expensive because it gives birth every 20 minutes and comes with an infant, she said.

Debbie Au, teacher at Sacred Hearts, said the experience gave students a sneak peak of the lives of health care professionals.

"They see the doctor and they see nurses and this is a chance for them to find out why nurses do what they do, what doctors do, and why it's important to keep them healthy," Au said. "So we're really happy to have this opportunity to be here today."

Chaminade University offers four-year bachelor of science degrees in nursing. Its technology-driven curriculum provides students with hands-on experiences like the simulation lab.

"Our nursing curriculum here at Chaminade is cutting-edge and we use all kinds of sophisticated technology in teaching our nursing students," said Jeanette Peterson, simulation coordinator for Chaminade. "It is so wonderful that these young students get an opportunity to use hands-on approaches in their learning today."

Deanna Hiramoto, a junior at Chaminade's nursing school, said she realized she wanted to become a nurse when she was attending Sacred Hearts herself.

"I feel that having the third graders here is good exposure for them to the area of nursing and hopefully they'll want to do nursing as well," Hiramoto said.

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