NUI Galway Society Cares for Bears

Friday, 18 January 2008

Almost 400 children, aged 3 to 7, were at NUI Galway today for the University's third annual 'Teddy Bear Hospital'. The main aim of the day was to help dispel some of the fears children may have of a hospital environment.

The event was organised by the Sláinte Society (the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations - I.F.M.S.A.).

At the 'Teddy Bear Hospital' children and their teddies visited the team of 'Teddy Doctors' and 'Teddy Nurses' who examined the patients and took a full medical history. Appropriate medical action was taken, whether it was applying bandages, or taking a trip to the Teddy X-ray machine or the Teddy MRI machine. There was also a Teddy Pharmacy fully stocked with nourishing vitamin juices and other healthy treats to promote healthy eating and dietary well being.

Over 150 students volunteered their time to explain how treatments worked and dispel any fears the children might have. Many of the students who took part are studying health related disciplines at the University. NUI Galway's Juggling Society was also on hand to provide entertainment. The event was supported by Kelkin, Medtronic and Eli Lilly & Co.

According to Riona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer, "The Teddy Bear Hospital is just one example of the enthusiasm and creativity of our students. This event has gone from strength to strength each year and is of huge benefit to the local schools and children. This is just one small example of the community engagement that happens here on campus".

The University has 89 active societies through which students make friends, pursue their interests, learn new skills and organise events such as the Teddy Bear Hospital. NUI Galway also runs the ALIVE programme to assist students who wish to volunteer with community organisations.

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