Medical Students Volunteer for NUI Galway's Teddy Bear Hospital

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The 5th annual Teddy Bear Hospital, the largest ever in Ireland, is to take place at NUI Galway from 28-29 January. Over 1,000 sick teddy bears will be admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their owners, 1,000 primary school children between the ages of three and eight. Up to 200 medical students from NUI Galway will volunteer to diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help the children feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations. Cornelia Carey, second year medical student at NUI Galway, is a member of Sláinte Society and is helping to organise the event: "Teddy Bear Hospital will be held over two days in order to cater for the overwhelming number of sick teddies in Galway city and county. This event provides a great opportunity for our Teddy Doctors to explain how doctors work and to show the children that hospitals and medical procedures are not so scary". This year, 28 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the 'waiting room', a play area filled with toys and games, from Smyths Toys. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them and decide if Teddy needs to visit the specially designed Teddy X-ray or MRI Machine. It is expected that Teddy will soon be on the mend, helped by medical supplies from Boots. A Teddy Pharmacy will also be open, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and visit an Order of Malta ambulance, sponsored by Medisource. Entertainment will be provided throughout the day by NUI Galway's Juggling Society and face painters. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway's Societies Officer, said: "I love seeing Teddy Bear Hospital in action. Students take the initiative to engage with the community in mutually beneficial and creative ways. This event grows each year and for good reason".
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