Students show kids a stay in hospital is bear-able

May 14 / 135

Children learned about healthcare as students gave their bears a check-up.
Children learned about healthcare as students gave their bears a check-up.

Students from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences have staged a Teddy Bear Hospital (TBH) for the Good Friday Appeal Kids Day Out to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Students introduced children to hospital care, and taught them about anatomy and vital organs, healthy eating and exercise and dental hygiene, gave them a consultation about their teddy bears’ health. 

The students themselves gained first-hand experience of providing medical care to kids.

Well before the official 10 am start families with teddy bears in hand were eagerly waiting for the doors of the TBH to open. 

More than 3,000 people passed through the doors to be greeted by enthusiastic teddy doctors, nurses, physios, dentists and biomedical student aides.

Each “patient” was triaged and issued with a medical record card before moving on to see a teddy doctor.

Ailments ranged from the more common broken arms, sore tummies and bumped heads, to the rarer hiccups-of-the-knee.

Students’ creative flair was on display with colour posters, a homemade teddy bear sized CT scanner, x-ray light box and even a teddy ambulance.

Face painting, teddy bowling, teddy surgery and "Ted-in-a-bed" (ICU) were all very popular. 

Parents and children alike enjoyed the musical performances by student groups the Medicine Moves and Apollo, with an enthusiastic toddler mosh pit quickly forming.

Premier Denis Napthine, Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation chairman Peter Yates and Herald and Weekly Times chair Penny Fowler all visited the hospital.

The Premier said he was pleased to note that the hospital waiting lists were well within target.

In total the students' efforts raised just over $16,000 for the appeal, with $13,500 raised on the day, and another $2,500 raised by the student organising committee which had participated in the Run for the Kids in the weeks prior.

Professor Paul Monagle, from the University’s Department of Paediatrics which co-ordinated the event, said he was impressed by the dedication, creativity and enthusiasm of the students. 

"At the end of the day every child came away with a smile on their face having had a fantastic experience," he said.

"We are hoping that next year’s Teddy Bear Hospital is even bigger and better, and we are hoping to expand the involvement of students and staff from across the University community."

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