TEDDY HOSPITAL MAKES DOCTOR EASIER TO BEAR
TEDDY bears are getting lifesaving help from James Cook University medical students, while children learn that going to the doctor isn’t so scary.
The Teddy Bear Hospital is up and running, with volunteer medical students from JCU visiting primary schools and helping students get over their fear of doctors, while teaching them about healthy lifestyle habits.
Under the program, each student brings their own teddy bear and pretends to be a doctor to their furry friend, helping children to overcome fears and see first- hand what doctors do during an examination.
Teddy Bear Hospital Townsville co- ordinator and fourth- year medical student Gabrielle Dent said it was a great way to help children to learn in an interactive way.
“We go out to the schools and set up four different sta- tions: there’s exercising, nutrition and dental health, sun safety and visiting the doctor,” Ms Dent said.
“We are aiming to give key health messages ... while we also tackle the fear of going to the doctor, whether it’s getting a needle or drinking yucky medicine.
“If you ask them questions after they’ve finished going around the stations, hands will shoot up straight away and they are all very excited to take away what they’ve learnt.”
A total of 40 medical students from JCU are helping to spread the message in Townsville schools.
“We are all volunteers, these are medical students who like to get back out into the community and get involved, which is a big focus of our degree,” Ms Dent said.
“We have contacted all the schools in Townsville and we are hoping to get around to a lot of them as soon as we can.”