News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB Saint John nursing students deliver Teddy Bear Health Clinics

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jun 14, 2021

Category: UNB Saint John

UNB Saint John student nurses recently hosted Teddy Bear Health Clinics at two priority neighbourhood elementary schools.

Over the two days, nursing students facilitated health education sessions at Seaside Park Elementary School and Centennial School for 300 kindergarten and Grade 1 children and their stuffed animals.

The initiative was part of the nursing program’s pediatric clinical rotation, which provides students with experiential learning opportunities focused on acute and community-based care.

UNB’s nursing program’s commitment to experiential learning helps the university to graduate skilled, trained nurses to support the needs of the people and province of New Brunswick.

“Events like the Teddy Bear Health Clinics support our UNB nursing students through experiential learning and link classroom theory into clinical practice so that students are able to demonstrate both their knowledge and skills in community practice settings,” says Kimberly Wilbur, an instructor with the department of nursing and health sciences on the Saint John campus. “It was a really positive event created with health, wellness and community collaboration in mind.”

The sessions were a collective effort between UNB, Centennial and Seaside Park Elementary Schools, Horizon Health Network, Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation and volunteers from Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick.

The children’s teddy bears were quarantined prior to the event then triaged in the schools’ gymnasiums before being tested for COVID-19.

“This was a good opportunity for us to educate children in a really fun way about the pandemic and allow them the chance to ask healthcare providers questions and ease any worries or concerns they may have,” says nursing student Amanda Cherry.

Children were encouraged to help the nursing students take their teddy bears’ vital signs, have a COVID swab, give them oxygen and hold them while they had bloodwork done before practising bandaging.

“The Centennial staff and community is very thankful for the opportunity to work in collaboration with UNB over the past two months to support educating our students about important and relevant health topics,” says Ashley Dobbin, principal of Centennial School. “The nurses were extremely engaged and professional throughout their time at our school, and it was a meaningful and worthwhile partnership that we hope will continue in the future.”

Media contact: Fiona Hendrie

Photo credit: Rob Blanchard/UNB