Teddies get health check-up
Going to the doctor can be a daunting experience for anyone, but for the children of Cobram, the process is now a whole lot easier with the help of some volunteers.
Teddy Bear Hospital is an initiative co-ordinated by the University of Melbourne’s Department of Paediatrics and aims to reduce childhood anxiety about medical environments.
For the two-hour event, Prep students took their teddy bears to Cobram District Health, where they role play a consult with recent graduates and medical students from Melbourne University who have volunteered their time.
This is the first year that Teddy Bear Hospital has run, with staff from both the schools and Cobram District Health praising the event.
Cobram District Health community services manager Karen Harris said the initiative was a great success.
‘‘Teddy Bear Hospital helps create positive healthcare interaction to help children overcome any fears or anxieties relating to health services or workers,’’ she said.
‘‘It helps our next generation of medical practitioners to develop key communication and interaction skills for working with children.’’
The invaluable day saw the children learn about healthy eating and lifestyles from the volunteers in a fun and interactive environment. The teddy bears were treated by a doctor and a dentist, with the children getting to listen to their bear’s heartbeat, check their teeth and ask lots of questions.
Ambulance Victoria brought along an ambulance to the event and the children got to see the inside of the vehicle and meet paramedics.
With more than 140 children from six schools in the district and four medical volunteers, the initiative was a fantastic learning experience for all involved.
Cobram District Health hopes all the teddy bears are feeling better.
Good advice: Cobram District Health medical intern Mahmoud Youseff with Tungamah Primary School students Ty Dickens and Harry Wren.
Teddy check-up: Cobram District Health speech pathologist Jane Bouchier treats a teddy bear under the watchful eyes of Cobram Primary School students Jaydee Nathan and Emily Auld.