‘Hospital’ field trip was certainly memorable for me

Published 12:50 pm Thursday, March 11, 2010

By Eason Franklin

One of the many things I find humorous in life is watching children interact with adults.

My father once told me of a man named Art Linkletter whose television show was highlighted by a segment called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” I had to Google Art only to find things haven’t changed much in the 40 or 50 years since that television show.

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This week gave me a refreshing perspective on the hilarious statements kids can utter that often seem to come from nowhere.

Friday was no different as first-grade students from Lowndes Academy attended the Let’s Pretend Hospital in Montgomery.

During the visit they filed into lines going from room to room to see nursing students and volunteers demonstrate hospital procedures with children acting as attending patients.

The entire trip was a blast, but one particular stop had parents, chaperones and staff holding their sides in laughter.

“What has our patient been admitted for?” a nurse would ask.

“Brain surgery,” replied the children.

A volunteer demonstrated how hospital staff goes about checking a patient’s vital signs and would voice sample questions normally asked for those admitted.

After checking the “patient’s” breathing, another staff member slid back a curtain to reveal a life-like mannequin.

The doll was a little eerie at first glance as it would simulate blinking, breathing and automated responses.

A nurse would ask, “How are we feeling,” or “does this hurt,” as she applied pressure to specific limbs followed by pressing a button to have the mannequin give an automated response.

After the demonstration, she granted the children the opportunity to ask the mannequin some questions.

Her obvious intent was for the students to ask how the patient was feeling, but the children quickly detoured their questionnaire.

“What’s one plus one?” one student shouted.

The nurse glanced at her co-workers with an indistinguishable look of confusion as the mannequin was only programmed to answer specific questions, math not being one of them.

Some of the parents and staff chuckled.

Then another student directed his question toward the dummy – “Do you have to go to the bathroom?”

Everyone nearly hit the floor with laughter, but before anyone could conjure the words for a response, the nurse pushed a button on the mannequin’s back.

“No,” responded the dummy.

I began tearing up on the spot and almost couldn’t contain myself.

Soon thereafter, we all grouped-up and moved to the next station only to have the children continue to entertain the adults as opposed to the other way around.

It just goes to show that no matter how we try account for all possibilities, children always have a way of making light of a situation.

Art would be proud.