Teddy bear clinic helps teach Rockville Centre kindergartners about health care


Kindergarten students from all five of the elementary schools in the Rockville Centre School District brought their beloved stuffed animals and teddy bears to the John A. Anderson Recreation Center on Jan. 19, for a check-up at the Teddy Bear Clinic.

Hosted by Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, the event serves as an educational experience to provide students with a glimpse at what a typical day is like for professionals working in the health care field.

Students who participated in the event enjoyed the opportunity to learn about hospital visits and medical procedures in a fun and interactive way.

The goal of the clinic was to help students better understand how hospitals work, so that should one ever be needed in the case of a real life medical emergency, they would feel a sense of familiarity instead of fear or nervousness.

Health care professionals helped facilitate this by introducing the kindergartners to different medical stations, focusing on physical examinations, medical imaging, surgery and physical and respiratory therapy.

The Teddy Bear Clinic not only allowed students to see and hear what they might experience during a typical hospital or doctor visit, it also provided them with a hands-on experience, where they were able to touch and use medical instruments to act out real medical scenarios on their stuffed animals.

While at each station, health care professionals spoke with students about their roles, the instruments they use, and the medical procedures that they perform. During the rotation, students at the physical therapy station learned about the challenges of sustaining an injury by hopping on one foot and practicing stretches with their stuffed friends, while students at the physical exam station performed routine check-ups on their teddy bears’ eyes, ears and hearts.

One of the highlights of the event for many students was the medical imaging station, where they got the opportunity to place a plaster cast on their teddy bears’ arms, ears, tails, legs or hands.