Healthy education all round

August 13, 2014
Healthy education all round
Student Coco-Nicole Nelson (with her teeth stained pink to show up plaque) demonstrates the benefits of teeth-cleaning with medical student Matt Plaquette.

So, just what is a teddy bear's blood pressure?

While the answer to that particular question remains unclear, a community engagement program that saw 11 Flinders visit an Unley primary school proved to be highly educational for both sets of .

The third-year medical students visited Kirinari Community School in a community engagement project conceived as part of the "Health, Profession and Society" topic, which aims to give student doctors an idea of their obligations and responsibilities within their communities.

Using teddy bears or soft toys as their own child "patients", groups of children aged from 5 to 12 progressed through a series of stations at which they undertook an interactive role play with the medical students. Each stop provided information and education on topics that included hand and food hygiene, basic musculo-skeletal anatomy, healthy eating and food choices, measuring vital signs, and sun safety.

A paramedic from SA Ambulance also attended with an ambulance vehicle to assist in explaining medical emergencies and procedures.

Medical student Andrew Hunter said the exercise not only gave the children useful health knowledge, but also helped in familiarising them with doctors and their roles.

"Children can sometimes feel a bit apprehensive about a visit to the doctor, and this gave them some insights into what doctors do and, I think, helped them feel much more comfortable," Mr Hunter said.

"And while we do study paediatrics and meet kids on the wards, getting a better understanding of dealing with children of different ages is a really useful thing for us to do too."

Health, Profession and Society topic co-ordinator Dr David Hunter said the program is intended to get students to think about their local communities and how they can give something back.

"It is student-driven in that the students develop and propose the projects themselves, and we are very proud that our students have chosen to take on such a wide array of valuable projects," Dr Hunter said.

"They range from health screening, information talks and radio shows as well as this excellent project to engage and demystify healthcare for young children."

Explore further: Healthy school lunches get thumbs up from students

Related Stories

Healthy school lunches get thumbs up from students

July 28, 2014
(HealthDay)—Elementary school students seem to be satisfied with the healthier school lunches being offered to them, according to a new study of school officials.

Master's thesis is foundation for film that shatters old myths of Down syndrome

July 9, 2014
Leigh Ann Kaman fell to the floor when doctors told her that her newborn son, Benjamin, had Down syndrome. She and her husband, Brian, felt totally alone.

Parents of overweight kids more likely to give schools failing grades for fighting obesity

May 20, 2014
Parents – especially those of overweight children – give schools a failing grade for efforts to encourage healthy habits that combat childhood obesity, according to a new poll from the University of Michigan.

Recommended for you

High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause mental health problems in offspring

July 21, 2017
A high-fat diet not only creates health problems for expectant mothers, but new research in an animal model suggests it alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of their offspring and has a long-term impact ...

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.