The health and wellbeing of teddys in the Barossa are well in hand with Flinders MD Rural Stream students, Annie Arnold, Caitlin Skinner, Troy Hollis and Aithne Tobin recently visited Nuriootpa Community Children’s Centre and Tanunda Kindergarten to deliver a Teddy Bear Hospital with the aim to provide children with positive health care experiences, promotes health and wellbeing and also provide the MDRS students the opportunity to practice the skills necessary for successfully working with children and paediatric health care.
The children bought a teddy or soft toy to a simulated Teddy Bear Hospital as the parents of a teddy with a problem. They all enthusiastically participated in the check-up with the assistance of the medical student. The fun, relaxed atmosphere allowed the children to interact with medicine and health care in a positive manner and ease any fears or anxieties they may have surrounding doctors’ visits, the hospital, or medical procedures. This also gave the students the opportunity to practice important paediatric communication skills, such as building rapport and using child-friendly language.
Before too long every teddy was treated with a bandage or brand-aid, given a medical certificate and lots of teddy cuddles. Both the children and our students thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with each other.
“Being invited to practice the ability to communicate with children, and hopefully assist in making the youngest members of our community a little bit more comfortable in a medical setting has been a privilege. Hearing about how the children described the problems that their teddy had, whether it be a sore paw or a bumped head, provided excellent experience in practicing communicating with younger patients. Studying medicine is a long hard road. Events like this reminded me that it can also be fun.” – Troy Hollis, 3rd year student.