‘Teddy Bear Clinic’ serves dual purpose

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, February 28, 2018

While it might seem unusual to see elementary-aged students hauling around stuffed animals with injuries, it has thankfully become an annual sight in Winchester.

Each year, students from the Health Occupations Students of America at George Rogers Clark High School visit local elementary schools for their “Teddy Bear Clinic.”

Whether it’s an elephant with a cough, a teddy bear with a broken leg, a horse with the hairline fracture or a bunny with the flu, the students are there to not only see their fluffy friends be treated, but to learn about the health care field.

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The annual event, which travels around the four elementary schools, helps show the younger children what to expect if they are sick. By seeing their stuffed animals be treated, it might ease the anxiety about having vaccines, visiting for routine check-ups or the unexpected trip to the emergency room for their own ailments.

However, the clinic serves a dual purpose.

By exposing the younger children to the health care field and making them more comfortable, it might also inspire future careers in health care.

The more often young children can be exposed to various career options, the better.

It is important to show children that vast array of careers they might be able to pursue one day, whether it be skilled labor, health care, manufacturing, administrative work, teaching or other careers.

Furthermore, the event helps the HOSA students learn to interact with younger students and better prepares them for their future careers in the health care field.

While giving a pink teddy bear a band-aid might seem like a small or silly thing, it can have a hug impact on our future generation.