UPEI students enrolled in Nursing 213—Nursing of Young Families visited Westwood Primary School in Cornwall today to put on a special teddy bear clinic for kindergarten classes.
Each child brought in a teddy bear or doll to be examined by the student nurses, while the kindergarten student acted in the role of the parent in order to observe an encounter with a health-care professional. The clinic was a fun way for the children to learn about health care in a friendly and structured environment.
An examination room was set up at the clinic, and each bear was weighed, measured, and examined by real equipment. By introducing this type of role-playing to the children, nursing students can help them overcome their fears when visiting their doctor or hospital.
“This experience is mutually beneficial for the children and our nursing students,” said Patrice Drake, assistant professor at UPEI’s School of Nursing. “Our nursing students gain invaluable experience by interacting with the children and applying what they have learned about communicating with children, growth and development, and health promotion and teaching.”
The purpose of the teddy bear clinic was to help children establish trust with a professional in a warm and friendly environment, to familiarize the children with commonly used medical equipment, and to help them work through, and express, their feelings. In addition to the clinic, UPEI’s nursing students gave presentations to the children on a health promotion topic.
The focus of Nursing 213—Nursing of Young Families is on caring for children and families with children. It is a community-based course and includes experiences not only in schools but also home settings and community agencies that provide services for children and families.