March 2015…A team of 14 student reporters from the Cole Manor Healthy Comet recently learned how a clinical laboratory conducts tests on blood, tissue, and other specimens.
The third and fourth graders, whose school newspaper is part of the Healthy NewsWorks program, visited the Quest Diagnostics Inc. laboratory in Horsham, Pa., as a reporting field trip.
More than a dozen members of QuestCares, the company’s employee volunteer program, met with the students to explain how the company collects and examines specimens to help patients and doctors make informed healthcare decisions.
The reporters received information at four demonstration stations that the volunteers had set up specifically for the visit. Students were able to view skin, stomach, and other tissue samples through a multi-headed microscope that allows several viewers to see the same image simultaneously.
“One thing I will remember for a long time is getting to use tools that scientists and doctors use in their everyday job,” said Janiyah, a fourth grader. “We used a multi-headed microscope to see specimens. I was looking at bacteria! Quest Diagnostics showed me that understanding our blood is very important. They have a very important job.”
Quest Diagnostics, our Community Wellness Partner, also produced a video of the students’ visit (view at the top of this article). The students’ article appeared in the fall 2014 issue of the Healthy Comet.
Afterwards, one student said he now wants to be a doctor and another said she wants to be a phlebotomist, a medical professional who draws blood from patients for lab tests.
“Learning about phlebotomy was interesting, but actually getting to see how it worked was really cool,” said Lillian. “I didn’t even know what a phlebotomist did a few weeks ago, now I want to be a phlebotomist when I grow up!”
Three QuestCares volunteers also visited Gotwals Elementary School last fall. Third graders at Gotwals interviewed the visitors about what health means to them and how Quest helps keep its employees healthy.
Cole Manor and Gotwals are both in the Norristown Area School District.