home page                                                               Fall 2005 Field Trip to the Kern Medical Center

The following are statements gleaned from student notes


  • The KMC is a teaching hospital where students are learning to become doctors. 
  • They have a Level 2 trauma center which is serviced by helicopters.  The only reason it is not a trauma 1 center is because it does not have a burn unit. 
  • They see about 10,000 patients per month.                      
  • Looking at the preemies

    About 400 babies per month are born here.
  • The NIC unit houses premature and sick babies.  Volunteers are sought to give babies human contact.
  • The psychiatric ward houses patients, some are committed involuntarily while others commit themselves.
  • ICU, intensive care unit, 10 beds, is for patients with the most need
    DOU, direct observation unit, 8 beds, is for patients needing a lot of care
    hospital beds are for patients recovering before going home
    some rooms are negative pressure rooms to prevent infectious diseases from spreading
  • Health care is not limited to working as a nurse in a hospital with patients

Chatting with Leslie, a respiratory therapist


    • Case management
    • Respiratory therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Medical-surgical nurse
    • Heart monitoring by telemetry
    • Informatics – using computers in nursing
    • Dieticians
    • Nutritionist
    • Home health care
    • Administrative managers
    • Pharmacy technicians & pharmacist
    • Physician assistants
    • Lab technologist
    • X-ray technician & technologist
  • The ER, emergency room, has 7 rooms and sees about 45-70 people in a 24 hour shift.  They see a variety of people with medical problems:

o        Spider bites

o        Flu & colds

o        Food poisoning

o        Gun shot & stab wounds

o        People with no primary care doctors

o        Workman’s compensation cases for injuries on the job

o        Broken bones

o        Car and motorcycle wrecks

·         The OR, operating rooms, are kept cold about 69 degrees F

·         The world’s top Valley Fever doctors are here.


A nurse and a doctor stop to talk about what they do

The laboratory does not allow visitors due to biohazards.  The tests are automated.  Blood, urine and other body fluids and tissue are analyzed.


Students at the entrance of the Kern Medical Center.

The Kern Medical Center sees all kinds of patients.  If you are injured, and they ask which hospital you want to be taken to tell them “I want to go to KMC”

·         A student’s comment:  “I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the Field trip to Kern Medical Center. I have always wanted to be a nurse and coming up close and personally always puts things into perspective.”

·         A student’s comment:  “This trip was very informative and allowed me to see and hear about nursing first hand.”