One of the coolest perks of teaching onboard a hospital ship is the FIELD TRIPS!  We have the most incredible departments and crew onboard who are often willing to open their spaces to us little ones and teach us what is going on around the ship. It can often be easy, when spending all day in our classrooms, to forget that we actually are living on a hospital ship, so I love taking my kids out of the classroom and around to different departments to open our eyes to what’s going on all around us!

Recently, my students and I collected a few toys and stuffed animals from our classroom and headed down five decks to the radiology department in the hospital! As we walked in, we were greeted by the x-ray techs who had finished x-raying patients for the day and were willing to teach us about the x-ray machine in a very hands on way! Each of my students got to carry their own x-ray tray over to the machine and situate his/her favorite stuffed animal on top of it. Then we went back behind the wall and each of my littles got to help push the button to take an x-ray of his/her stuffy!  They then went to collect their stuffed animals (and gave each a big hug in case the machine had scared it) and placed the try into the reader! We guessed what we might see in the x-ray and talked about how an x-ray is different from a regular photo in that we get to see INSIDE the stuffy! After x-raying our stuff animals and several other toys, the technician took us into the room with the CT machine and explained to us how it takes a different kind of photo of the inside of patients. We even got to hop up on the bed of the CT machine and take a ride!

The only thing that I love even more than the opportunities we have onboard, is the incredible crew who constantly help our littlest crew members know that they too are important members of this community!

Written by Beth Kirchner
Grade 1 Teacher and Lead Teacher for Elementary