More than 2,000 local first graders are making their way through a mock hospital this week.
" Let's Pretend Hospital" kicked off on Tuesday at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
The UAH nursing building was transformed into a jungle safari for the week, it's a learning opportunity for both
the nursing students and local 1st graders.
The purpose of the role playing project is to teach children what to expect during a hospital visit.
"Going to the ER having a procedure done, riding on an ambulance, those are scary events, especially when you're young. So this is kind of like a soft introduction to them to alleviate fears and let them know we're here to help," said
Rebecca Stillwell-Miller, UAH student CEO.
The 1st graders rotate through rooms where they learn about different aspects of hospitals, like the operating room.
" I wont be scared next time I go to the doctor," said 1st grader Jack Plummer.
The program also benefits nursing students at UAH who help plan, prepare and organize the event.
" A lot of the kids dont even know what to expect they just hear doctor, or they hear shot or they hear medicine, or anything like that and they have no idea what to expect, so I think a really good thing with this is to be able to go into each of the rooms we have set up and teach them what it would be like if you did have to have a surgery or a shot," said UAH Nursing Student Kristen Curtis.
" A big part of that education is with our children because a lot of children then go back to educate their families and its a huge opportunity," added UAH Nursing Student Maddi Akers.
The 1st graders at the event are from schools in Huntsville City, Madison City and Madison County.