While School is Not in Session…by Nicole Melson

While school is not in session during the summer, PrairieCare has implemented a reading and life skills program. Reading group is an hour long group where patients get to read a book out loud as group and watch a movie that has been adapted from the book. This helps expand creativity, increase communication and listening skills, and to express oneself. In addition, patients will learn new behaviors and be exposed to new situations, making them more prepared when they encounter these situations in their own life.

Life skills group consists of patients participating in activities they can utilize in their daily life along with team building and self esteem exercises. Patients will also get the opportunity to see and listen to speakers during their life skills group. We have found speakers and outreach educational programs to come and interact with our patients. The life skills series provides opportunities for children and adolescents to understand the world around them, explore different careers, hobbies, and interests, to expose them to what the Twin Cities has to offer, and for them to look forward to the future and experience it on their own.

PrairieCare recently had John Ryan come with his dog Bella to our inpatient hospital and partial hospitalization program to talk about owning a dog and pet therapy. Bella is a golden retriever who is a trained pet therapy dog. John showed children and adolescents the wonderful tricks Bella can do as well how dogs can help people with illnesses. As soon as John and Bella walked into the programs, all the children and adolescent’s faces beamed with excitement!

Other speakers:

Dave from the Como Zoo came and talked to the patients about the Tropical Rainforest. Dave brought with him a Milk Snake, Blue Blue Posionous Tree Frogs, two Cockroaches, and a talking Parrot. Dave not only talked about animals that live in the rainforest but items found in the rainforest that we use almost every day.

PrairieCare’s very own receptionist, Deb Caouette, came and did cupcake decorating. Deb showed how to decorate a cupcake by using special decorating tools. The patients then got to decorate their very own cupcake!

JoAnne is a local Minnesota Hobby Beekeeper. JoAnne took time out of her day to come and talk about the importance of bees and beekeeping.  She talked about how 1/3 of food is thanks to Bees, how bees are kept, and why we should be afraid of bees.

Mr. Dude from Mad Science came and did mad scientific experiments with fire and ice. Mr. Dude had the patients make scientific hypothesis and then did experiments to test their hypothesis using experiments involving air pressure, flash paper, Eggbert, Bernoulli’s Principle, and dry ice.

Jehra Patrick form mnartisits.org and Adriana Rimpel form the Walker Art Center came to talk about art forms and programs that the Walker Art Center has for children and adolescents. Jehra is a professional artist and Adriana is a professional singer in a band. They both shared their talents with the patients.

Written by:
Nicole Melson
Psychiatric Technician II (Lead Psychiatric Technician)
PrairieCare Hospital and Clinics-Maple Grove

I recently just received my Masters in Clinical Psychology at Argosy University. I have been working at PrairieCare over a year and half and I enjoy everything about my job. When school is not in session, I plan and run summer programming for the patients at PrairieCare’s inpatient hospital in Maple Grove. I facilitate four groups a day that consist of a reading group and life skills group for children and adolescents. In addition, I schedule speakers and outreach educational programs to come and interact with our patients during our life skills groups.
When I am not planning summer programming I work on the unit to provide a safe, comfortable, and friendly environment for our patients. I love working at PrairieCare because I get to do what I feel most passionate about which is helping children and adolescents improve their health and well being.
When I am not helping children and adolescents achieve their personal goals; you can find me studying for the counselors exam to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. In my spare time I like to read, spend time with my family and friends, paint, and enjoy every minute I can outside.