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Medical ‘school’: Annual ‘Teddy Bear Hospital’ event held at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center

BEMIDJI -- Gabriel Rock brought his stuffed animal dragon, "Mr. Draggy," to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center on Wednesday morning hoping a doctor could help heal him.

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Second-grader Gabriel Rock stops at the "procedures" section located in an operating room during the annual Teddy Bear Hospital at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. Rock and his classmates from Cass Lake-Bena Elementary School participated in the event on Wednesday. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Gabriel Rock brought his stuffed animal dragon, “Mr. Draggy,” to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center on Wednesday morning hoping a doctor could help heal him. The predicament was “Mr. Draggy” had two tongues. Fortunately, with a few quick stitches to sew the two tongues together, Dr. Mark Shanfeld was able to “heal” the dragon. Rock and “Mr. Draggy” were among around 100 students from Cass Lake-Bena Elementary School who visited Sanford Bemidji Medical Center on Wednesday for the annual Teddy Bear Hospital.
The clinic, which is held in recognition of National Perioperative Nurse Week, allows students to experience what would happen if they ever needed a surgery. “The biggest part of this is to let the kids know that this is a safe and friendly environment,” said Sara Bowles, clinical supervisor for Pre/Post for Sanford. “We like let them experience it on a non-threatening day so that the nurses are nice, and they don't always poke you with needles.” The tour begins by the students dressing in proper attire, including pediatric exam gowns, surgical hairnets and masks. The next step is pre-op where medical bracelets are filled out for both the child and their stuffed animal. Each animal is given an affliction, perhaps a broken arm or leg injury. “Then they actually take them back to the operating rooms and there's a couple docs there. Some of them put a couple stitches in the teddy bears, some of them show them what they do, some of them get bandages put on,” said Darren Pagnac, nursing and clinical services lead. Not only do students learn what to expect before and during medical procedures, but they are also exposed to the range of jobs available in the medical field. “(They) see the roles we play,” Bowles said, “And they get to go to those kind of private areas or off limits areas that most people don't get to go into unless they are having surgery.” BEMIDJI -- Gabriel Rock brought his stuffed animal dragon, “Mr. Draggy,” to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center on Wednesday morning hoping a doctor could help heal him. The predicament was “Mr. Draggy” had two tongues. Fortunately, with a few quick stitches to sew the two tongues together, Dr. Mark Shanfeld was able to “heal” the dragon.Rock and “Mr. Draggy” were among around 100 students from Cass Lake-Bena Elementary School who visited Sanford Bemidji Medical Center on Wednesday for the annual Teddy Bear Hospital.
The clinic, which is held in recognition of National Perioperative Nurse Week, allows students to experience what would happen if they ever needed a surgery. “The biggest part of this is to let the kids know that this is a safe and friendly environment,” said Sara Bowles, clinical supervisor for Pre/Post for Sanford. “We like let them experience it on a non-threatening day so that the nurses are nice, and they don't always poke you with needles.”The tour begins by the students dressing in proper attire, including pediatric exam gowns, surgical hairnets and masks.The next step is pre-op where medical bracelets are filled out for both the child and their stuffed animal. Each animal is given an affliction, perhaps a broken arm or leg injury.“Then they actually take them back to the operating rooms and there's a couple docs there. Some of them put a couple stitches in the teddy bears, some of them show them what they do, some of them get bandages put on,” said Darren Pagnac, nursing and clinical services lead.Not only do students learn what to expect before and during medical procedures, but they are also exposed to the range of jobs available in the medical field.“(They) see the roles we play,” Bowles said, “And they get to go to those kind of private areas or off limits areas that most people don't get to go into unless they are having surgery.”

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