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Students get glimpses of the real world

Students in yellow hospital gowns, blue booties, hair nets and face masks stood around the chilly operating room as nurse Denise ten Bosch took them through aC-sectionprocedure.

She pulled them into the imagined surgery in the labor and delivery wing to play the mother, nurse and anesthesiologist. It started with giving the mother warm blankets before the operation, then giving her an epidural and ending with making sure no sponges were left inside her.

She even gave the pretend father something do.

“Put a hand on her forehead,” the ever-smiling ten Bosch instructed. “Tell her you are sorry. Tell her you’re so sorry.”


She is a nurse in the Sue & Bill Gross Women’s Pavilion at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, where she has delivered numerous babies — 562 in her career — and won her own battle against breast cancer.

She showcased her day-to-day activities for four Corona del Mar High School juniors as they spent Wednesday morning in a nurse’s shoes as part of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Mentor for a Day program.

More than a dozen of these groups gave about 40 students from CdM and Newport Harbor high schools the opportunity to spend a couple hours shadowing a professional in the field of their choice.

“This gives them an opportunity to get some first-hand experience of what it might be like,” said Denise Weiland, CdM’s community services coordinator and a member of the program’s education committee.


The day started with a breakfast where the students were introduced to their mentors, who ran the gamut from an American Airlines pilot who planned to take his mentees inside a cockpit to a criminal defense attorney whose students would watch the sentencing of a client.

During the breakfast portion of the event, three-time Olympian and Newport Harbor alumna Sheila Doyle told the students how her own mentors growing up helped her get to the Olympics.

“If there is anything I can say, it’s you can’t do anything alone,” she said. “You have to have a great support team.”

During the hospital tour, ten Bosch lead the students into post-labor patient rooms with ocean views, the premature or sick baby area — where a 2-pound baby was ensconced in a humidified, closed-in bed that replicated a uterus — and a supply closet where they keep ready-to-go packs for delivery.

“These go like salad tongs around the baby’s head,” ten Bosch explained as she passed around a sterile bag of forceps.

The tour was a chance to really get to see what a career in the medical field could be like, said Shannon Griffin, 17, who is considering studying to be a doctor or surgeon.

Vanessa Grainger and Tara Zahed, both 17, said they now feel more comfortable exploring a medical career.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this was awesome,” Vanessa said.


For junior Joey Attallah, 16, whose second interest is surgery, the tour kept his interest in medicine, but he’s still leaning toward another field.

“I would definitely consider it in the future, but I think I would prefer engineering — I don’t think I’d have the stomach,” he said.

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes