Teddy Bear repair

Preps of Morwell Park Primary School were greeted by student doctors on Friday morning, when their classroom was turned into a make-shift teddy bear hospital.

Monash University Medical Undergraduate Society members, who are placed at Latrobe Regional Hospital in Traralgon, visited the school for two hours to reduce “white-coat anxiety”.

MUMUS’ ‘Teddy Bear Hospital’ Gippsland coordinator Morgan Clayton, a third year medical student, said the main idea was to create a positive association with hospitals.

“The idea of it is to reduce that white-coat anxiety that comes with going to see a doctor. That’s why we wear the scrubs and teach some health messages,” Ms Clayton said.

“It’s good for us as well, because none of us are actually from this area, so everyone is excited for a chance to see the community other than the hospital.”

Teddy Bear Hospital is an international project, which began at Gippsland Medical School in 2009, and allows young people across the state to interact with student doctors. Morwell Park Primary School preps each brought their own teddy bear to school, with MUMUS members talking them through different medical scenarios.

Stations ranged from surgery – where students got to see the organs of a teddy bear – to healthy eating and exercise, x-rays, asthma, plastering and first aid.

Prep teacher Steph Wilson said the students had been excited all week to join in on the program.

“The whole idea of it is that the students then feel safe and calm when they go to hospital,” Ms Wilson said.

Five year-old Abby was one of 50 preps who took part and said she enjoyed learning about asthma.

“It’s really cool; you get to look after your teddy,” Abby said.

Abby’s classmate, Jack, said Big Teddy was his favourite part of the day and he was looking forward to speaking with the doctors.