UAH’s “Let’s Pretend” hospital celebrates 30 years


Let's Pretend Hospital is a first grade field trip like no other.

The unique education program began 30 years ago by The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing and Huntsville Hospital to help reduce the fear and anxiety that may accompany a hospital visit or a trip to the emergency room by young children.

UAH senior nursing students are responsible for implementing and managing the simulated hospital setting. This year's theme is Frozen from the hugely popular 3D animated film produced by Walt Disney Studios.

Let's Pretend Hospital (LPH) will "admit" approximately 2,700 first graders from area public, homeschool and private schools from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 21, from 8:30 a.m., to 2 p.m., in the UAH College of Nursing's Learning and Technology Resource Center (first floor).

The goal for LPH is to educate first graders in the community about the different departments within the hospital setting. Additionally, the purpose of the role-playing project is to teach children what they can expect during a hospital visit and to minimize fear and anxiety associated with hospitalization. This project also allows UAH nursing students an opportunity to apply developmental theory in teaching children about nursing and health care.

Students will be able to visit the pretend emergency room, X-ray/laboratory, operating room, patient's room/Miss Molly, play area, and safety room. There will also be two ambulances (HEMSI and Kids' Care) available for children to tour.

Youngsters receive packets that include the history of LPH, and other reading materials to prepare the children for the unique medical experience. Each child will also receive a surgeon's cap and mask, pencil, coloring book and crayons.


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Joyce Anderson-Maples