UHS Delaware Valley Hospital (DVH) hosted 141 second-grade students from Walton, Downsville, Roscoe, Livingston Manor and Hancock elementary schools for their annual Teddy Bear Clinic.

The goal of the Teddy Bear Clinic is to introduce children to the hospital and healthcare workers in a fun setting so that in the event they need to be a patient, they will be a little less intimidated and scared.

The clinic provided students with an informative and educational experience in several departments of the hospital. In the Emergency Room (ER), RN Laurie Gross explained what you do when you come to the ER, and what healthcare workers are there to take care of them. They learned about a lot of ways to stay healthy and how to prevent injuries by wearing safety gear such as helmets, knee pads and elbow pads. They also got to see an adult manikin named “Willy”, that was hooked up to common monitors and equipment someone coming to the ER would have on them.

In the imaging department, students were able to see an x-ray of the heart and lungs on a computer monitor, and the radiology technician Nancy Fuller, answered many questions the kids had about getting x-rays. The students then ventured on to see the hospital’s CT scan and how it moves patients in and out of the tube as their teddy bears got to experience the ride.

The students then had an opportunity to be caregivers in a situation where “Kurt” our pediatric manikin, had a bicycle accident and was not wearing his helmet. The kids put on gloves and masks and assisted RN Shawn Kaufman and Kaitlin Gorton, with Kurt’s injuries. Some of the care the students gave was applying pressure to and bandaging a wound, splinting his leg, stabilizing Kurt’s neck and putting on a neck brace, using an oxygen mask to give oxygen, and covering him up with a blanket to keep him warm. They were also able to see and learn about getting an IV and listen to Kurt’s heart rate on a monitor. The kids were very enthusiastic to help in this demonstration.

Moving outside, EMTs Mark Rossley and Percy Bryant from AMR and Jessica Gilmore and Josh Griffin from Walton EMS did a demonstration on different chairs, gurneys and lifts that are used to transport patients into an ambulance, then they let the kids go into their rigs and gave them stickers and pencils. New York State Trooper Jamie Gockel brought his K9 partner, Lock with him and did a demonstration on how well Lock listens and finds explosives by using his amazing sense of smell. Lock was able to find a tiny cotton ball that had gun powder on it in a very large field. Trooper Gockel brought several different pieces of training equipment and safety gear that he uses with Lock, and let the students see and hold the items.

Finally, LifeNet of NY helicopter and crew came in and let each student see the inside of their helicopter and answered any questions that the students had. Many of the kids had the opportunity to either see the helicopter come in and land or take off.

Each child that came to the Teddy Bear Clinic was given a Stay Healthy Kids/DVH backpack, folding frisbee, sports bottle, coloring book and crayons, healthy snack recipe cards, a “Titus Safety Tips” flyer and a fact sheet about DVH. They each got a healthy snack and a bottle of water as well. Teachers from all classes were given information and activity sheets about Mr. Yuk and the dangers of poison to share with the kids back in the classroom.

Walton students have fun at Teddy Bear Picnic (photo by UHS)