The halls of Mayo Clinic Health System Waseca were packed on May 13 with interested community members, who were given a rare opportunity to step into a doctor’s shoes by seeing real surgical equipment and performing mock surgery.

The event opened the doors to the surgical services area so the public could tour the facilities and get a sense of what was available at the hospital.

The name comes from the idea of the point beyond which no unauthorized personnel is allowed to go in hospitals.

“Think of that invisible red line right before you walk into the operating room, where you have to be scrubbed up and have the right attire on,” said hospital Administrator Thomas Borowski. “This year, we’re letting people go back there without all that stuff on to see what the operating room is like. What we want to promote is the services that we do here that, quite honestly, a lot of people don’t know about.”

Showcasing areas such as surgery, orthopedics, anesthesia, sterile processing and X-ray, attendees were able to walk among displays of instruments and dummies demonstrating procedures.

“We want to stay connected to the community, and this seems like a fun, engaging way to do that,” Borowski said.

The event also focused on bicycle safety. Kids were able to be fitted for helmets and participate in a bike course that promoted safety by featuring stop signs.

“Safety in the community is our No. 1 priority,” said Jennifer Harguth of public affairs. The hospital is fully staffed to handle accidents as they come, Harguth says, but they want to focus on helping to prevent them.

The event had a strong community focus, from seeing involvement from the Police and Fire departments to the ability to meet surgical staff, who helped guide participants through mock surgery.

“The staff is just so proud of what they have here,” Borowski said. “They’ve been working for days.”

Reporter Jacob Stark can be reached at 837-5451 or follow him on Twitter @WCNjacob.

Covering Waseca, Janesville, and New Richland.

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