Sick teddy bears brought to hospital

NUI Galway event now in its 15th year
  • Deborah Condon

Over 1,200 sick teddies were expected at NUI Galway's Teddy Bear Hospital this week.

The two-day event saw sick teddy bears being brought to the hospital by their minders - primary school children aged four to eight.

The aim of the event, which is now in its 15th year, is to make young children feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals.

It is organised by the Slainte Society, which is NUI Galway's health promotion society.

"Every year, we strive to treat as many sick teddies from as many different schools as possible and we can't wait to do it all over again this year. We hope to provide a fun, relaxed atmosphere so that both children and teddies can feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals," explained Clodagh Ryan, a third year medical student at NUI Galway and co-auditor of the Slainte Society.

Up to 200 medical, healthcare and science students were on hand to provide care to the teddies. In the past, they have had to deal with a wide range of ailments, including sore ears and sick tummies.

Over 1,200 children were expected from a total of 29 primary schools. On arrival, each child has an individual consultation with one of the teddy doctors on call. The ‘patients' are then examined by the doctors and receive a ‘pawscription' and referral to surgery or x-ray.

The students have specially designed X-ray and MRI machines on hand, should the teddy bears need them.
Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, which is stocked with healthy fruit and medical supplies.

The event is sponsored by the Medical Protection Society.

"The award winning Teddy Bear Hospital is always a joy when students welcome local school children and their teddies onto campus. I would like to congratulate the Sláinte Society and their many volunteers who organise this very popular event each year," commented Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway's Societies Officer.

*Pictured at the Teddy Bear Hospital 2020 event is NUI Galway medical student Aisling Fitzgerald with James Newell (6) from Corrandulla National School, Co. Galway.


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