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What Happens When Germs Get a Glowing Review

Published on May 29, 2014 by Tiffany Coleman

(KUNA) Picture this. You are in a small, dimly-lit room with 30 kiddos under the age of four. A woman dressed in blue scrubs is quietly walking around with an ultraviolet light—shining it on their tiny hands. There is a flurry of activity buzzing around the room as the children begin to see that their hands are actually glowing. Their little fascinated voices can be heard oohing and aahing at their new discovery. What is happening here is a far cry from the typical activities one would expect to see at a daycare, but on this day, true hands-on learning is taking place.

Students in the medical assistant program at Broadview University are taking their skills on the road. They are teaching little ones at the Closest to Home Daycare in Kuna the importance of proper hand-washing as part of an applied learning project for their Patient Care Sciences class.

“The first thing we did was to talk about germs,” Mystie Weber, a student at the Boise campus, said. “We created a pamphlet for them to take home and talked about proper nutrition, when to wash your hands, the importance of hand sanitizer, things like that. Then, we asked them to wash their hands like they normally would.”

Task complete, the students then put Glo-gel on the children’s hands and turned off the lights. The gel is designed to show where germs are left behind.

True hands-on learning. Students in Broadview University’s medical assistant program teach little ones at a local daycare the importance of proper hand washing as part of an applied learning project.

“Hey look,” a little one said. “Mine are clean.” Another one wasn’t exactly reporting positive results, but he did seem intrigued that everyone’s teeth were glowing in the dark.

Sixty germy, glowing hands later, the students wrapped up their demonstration by asking the kids to wash their hands one more time. Only this time, they were asked to wash for as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice; a full 20 seconds. Following yet another kid parade in and out of the bathroom, the kiddos were then quizzed on what they learned.

“When do you wash your hands,” Anna Braden, the medical assistant program’s lead instructor, asked.

A variety of correct responses were given; after you eat, after you go to the bathroom, anytime you sneeze in your hand. One little girl even offered up some advice from her mom; telling the group that hand-washing is the best way to keep from getting worms.

“It was awesome for the students to do this, and I know the kids had a lot of fun,” Steph Gerla, the director at the daycare, said. “The older ones will definitely go home and talk about it with their families.”

Mission accomplished, the students felt the project was time well spent.

“This was a lot of fun,” Weber said. “I am definitely glad we got to do it. It gets us out of the classroom, which is nice.”

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