Care for the Bears: Blackduck students take part in Teddy Bear Hospital at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center
BEMIDJI -- Second-grade students from Blackduck had a "beary" enjoyable time Friday at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. Friday was the Fourth Annual Teddy Bear Hospital, which gives youngsters an up-close look at nursing and overall medical profes...
BEMIDJI -- Second-grade students from Blackduck had a “beary” enjoyable time Friday at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Friday was the Fourth Annual Teddy Bear Hospital, which gives youngsters an up-close look at nursing and overall medical professions.
“Every year, second graders from the Bemidji area come through for a hospital tour, and we wanted to reach out to the outlying communities that we also serve, so we started this clinic,” said Darren Pagnac, service line supervisor of perioperative care at Sanford. “Each year we’ll pick out a different school from the area and invite them in.
“This just gives us a chance to reach out to the next generation of nurses,” Pagnac said. “They get to see the operating rooms, they get to wear what we wear and they get to see and handle the equipment that we use.”
Through the hands-on event, the perioperative nurses are able to engage with the children and show them exciting career opportunities in perioperative services and other health care careers. The program gives each student their own patient, in this case, teddy bears or other stuffed animals, and walks them through various stages of medical care, including even their own surgeries.
“There’s been a great response,” Pagnac said, “the kids really enjoy it and we hear a lot of good feedback from the parents.”
As the bus pulled up to the front doors Friday, students and their bears were split into five groups and each traveled through various stations where they were taught all the steps of the perioperative process.
Group five started their shift at the “common things” station, where they were taught how to use frequently used equipment and were able to use stethoscopes to listen to their bear’s heartbeats along with taking temperatures.
The students then were escorted to the gown station, where they were all required to put on surgical scrubs, hair nets, face masks and shoe covers in preparation to enter the operating room.
Once the students were dressed for surgery, they took the bears to the preop station, where they signed in the patients and received a chart for each.
The next step was an EKG of the patient’s heartbeat, and then it was down to the wash-up room before surgery.
“We are the greatest doctors in the world!,” students chanted as they traveled down the hallways.
Once the students were all washed up, they were able to observe the operating room and handle orthopedic instruments and learn procedures.
Many of the bears came in with broken bones, so the students were able to choose casts from an array of colors such as pink, purple, blue and green.
Once the “surgeries” were finished, the students made their way back toward the suction station, where they were able to handle the suction tool used to absorb fluids during the operation.
Next to the suction station was the scope table, where students had the opportunity to learn how the scope worked and actually use the instrument to attempt to remove a rubber band.
Jayson Sam, a student in Robin Mistic’s second grade class brought in his stuffed animal named Creepy. “My favorite part was when he got the cast put on,” he said, detailing how his animal was “injured.”
“He has a broken leg, he was standing on a porch and then he fell off.”
Fellow second-grader, Ethan Larson, echoed the cast procedure as the best. “He didn’t really break his leg, he got an NHL pin stuck in it,” he said of his animal.
All 105 perioperative staff members participated in some part of the Teddy Bear Hospital, officials said, including administration, anesthesia services, general services, marketing radiology, supply, surgeons and volunteers.