Approximately 500 kindergarteners from eight elementary schools across McDowell County participated in a teddy bear clinic hosted by McDowell Hospital over two days, February 23-24. The event was designed to educate children about hospitals and medical procedures, while also helping alleviate fears that they may have about healthcare settings.
“McDowell Hospital is pleased to be partnering with the McDowell County School System to offer this experience to the kindergarteners of McDowell County,” said Carol Wolfenbarger, President, McDowell Hospital. “Our aim is to introduce healthcare and healthy behaviors to the students in a fun way and hopefully alleviate some of the fear young children have in healthcare settings.”
During their visit to McDowell Hospital, children were given a teddy bear that they escorted through a series of healthcare-related learning actives such as mock X-rays, heart check-ups and lab work. In the process of accompanying their teddy bears through these activities, the students learned about areas of the hospital such as the emergency department, imaging, surgery and cardiopulmonary. They also learned about proper hand hygiene, nutrition and exercise.
“McDowell County Schools is excited for our kindergarten students to experience McDowell Hospital’s Teddy Bear Clinic,” said Mark Garrett, McDowell County Superintendent of Schools. “The clinic will provide the opportunity for students to visit a healthcare facility and learn about a variety of topics that educates them about healthy living. The Teddy Bear Clinic is a great example of how a small conversation between community partners can blossom into a wonderful event that benefits students.”