Children can play doctor at new museum exhibit in Carson City
CARSON CITY – A hospital exhibit unveiled this week occurred in the most rambunctious of places.
The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada.
The display features a hospital bed, a machine for viewing X-rays, a fake stethoscope, blood pressure machine, syringe, doctor’s bag and more. The exhibit replaces an older, outdated hospital exhibit and is the first to open in the past year.
“This is almost an exact replica of the new pediatric unit at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center,” said Erin Lehman, interim executive director for the children’s museum. “It’s called the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Pediatric Room Exhibit.”
Work on the exhibit began about three months ago, under guidance by Chris O’Higgins, director of facilities at Carson Tahoe Regional Health Care, and Mary Woods, director of business development.
“The hospital feels very strongly about getting involved in the community,” Woods said. “This seemed to be a good fit for that.”
The exhibit provides hand sanitizer, used at the hospital, that encourages children to wash their hands.
“We want to stress the importance of hand-washing,” Woods said. “The hand sanitizer kills 99 percent of all disease-causing germs.”
About 20 interactive exhibits – some large, like the hospital, a bank and a grocery store – are in the main room of the museum. Smaller exhibits include a walk-on piano, a Bernoulli blower, a kaleidoscope and magnetic table.
“The museum doesn’t have a big budget to build new exhibits,” Lehman said. “This is really an example of everyone in the community involved and pitching in. It hasn’t been a huge expense to any one person because everyone’s pitched in a little bit. I’m hoping we can do more projects like this in the future. Our biggest challenge for exhibits is funding.”
Many of the materials and labor hours were donated from the hospital. The exhibit also includes scrubs, a fake pager and a keyboard and computer for children to take doctor’s notes.
“I think the timing was good,” Woods said. “It would make sense for the exhibit to be a replica of what the pediatric unit is like at the medical center.”
The children’s museum is one of two in the state. The other is in Las Vegas.
“We’re encouraging everyone to come,” Lehman said. “We also just want people to come and see what the museum is all about.”
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