Serenity Wachner job shadows with Linda Pantanella, wound care supervisor

On April 25, 2019, associates of Rivergate Health Care Center in Riverview, Michigan, excitedly welcomed their children into the facility to teach them about a variety of important jobs, to let them interact with residents and to lead them through fun activities.


Forty-six kids, ranging from 5 to 17 years old, started their day at Rivergate Health Care Center by meeting new friends, having breakfast and talking to the safety coordinator about first aid, hand-washing and infection control.


After the safety presentation, the kids took a tour of the facility and were allowed to job shadow with a department of their choice. They had the option of observing nurses, therapists, environmental and janitorial associates, receptionists or associates from the activities department.


At lunchtime, the food service director led the older kids in making pizzas for the group, while the younger kids learned how to make ants on a log with celery, peanut butter and raisins.


Exploring pet therapy was another exciting part of the day. The kids got to meet the occupational therapy department’s dog, Rudy, and learn about his role at the facility. They loved giving Rudy treats as he followed the commands he has learned, such as “sit” and “stay.”


Next, the kids and the residents spent some time together. The younger kids played games, such as bowling and basketball, with the residents while the older kids joined them for arts and crafts. This part of the day was as fun as it was educational.


“The kids bring joy, laughter and peace to the facility for the residents, families and associates,” said Jamie Bridges, therapeutic recreation specialist. “This is a great experience and opportunity for the residents to teach the young minds before them, and for the kids to bring energy and excitement to the residents. It is one of my favorite days of the year.”


This year’s Bring Your Kids to Work Day saw twice as many resident participants as last year’s event, and the day was full of positive interactions between residents and kids. In fact, several children asked to come back and visit again, and many residents loved the idea.


The day brought joy to the children, associates and residents alike, and served to educate the kids on the important jobs and positions that keep Rivergate Health Care Center at its best.


Rivergate Health Care Center associates and residents are already planning another great Bring Your Kids to Work Day for April 2020.

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