MTU and RCSI, along with charity partner BUMBLEance, are organizing a Teddy Bear Hospital event at the North Campus in Tralee on Saturday, April 22, which aims to help children feel more comfortable when interacting with healthcare professionals. Over 150 children are expected to attend the free event, which is divided into two sessions, from 10 am to 12 noon and from 2 pm to 4 pm. Children will bring their teddy bears and other stuffed toys with them to the event, where they will learn more about what doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals do as part of their jobs. They will also witness the whole process of being in a hospital from start to finish, with the help of the cuddly teddy bears.
MTU and RCSI medical, healthcare, and science students and staff will demonstrate to the children what happens in a hospital, who works there, and how the “Teddy Doctor” helps the sick teddy feel better. Children will get hands-on experience using stethoscopes and bandages and can also see how X-ray machines work. Students from the BSc in Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences will advise children and teddy on how to improve their nutrition and explain the benefits of exercise.
Head of Department, International Medical/Pharmacy Commencement Programmes at MTU, Fiona O’Flynn said that the event is intended to help children feel comfortable when interacting with healthcare professionals and also to introduce them to what healthcare professionals do, which may spark an interest in a future career. Meanwhile, Dr. Orlaith Brennan, Medical Physics Lecturer at RCSI, said that the day would allow children to test treatments out on their teddy bears in a relaxed setting, which could reduce any anxiety they may feel about having similar treatments themselves in the future. The event is suitable for children up to 10 years old and early booking is advised.