In Reims, a miniature hospital to reassure nursery school children: “My teddy bear hurt his paw”

In Reims, a miniature hospital to reassure nursery school children: “My teddy bear hurt his paw”


A health record in one hand and a stuffed triceratops in the other, Adem, 5 years old, calmly walks towards a stand. “Tom hurt his paw when he fell, so we went to see the physio. We also put a bandage on with the doctor earlier,” he explains, showing his cuddly toy. “If you don’t mind, now we’re going to look at Tom’s teeth,” Lina, a dental student, intervenes while helping him fill out his dinosaur’s notebook. Height, weight, age and possible symptoms, everything is referenced in this little booklet, as for a child.

Lina is one of the hundred medical students who volunteer to run the mini-hospital for children (actually for teddy bears) opened this week within the grounds of the Reims medical faculty, in order to de-dramatize the passage of cherubs to the hospital, the real one. A pair of students receives the “patients” on each of the nine stands. Thirteen schools in the city will take turns there all week and nearly 500 kindergarten students will benefit from this operation imagined by 2nd year medical students.

All disciplines are represented: dental, midwifery, general medicine, surgery, pharmacy, radiology, etc. “Playing pretend works very well with kindergarten children. It’s interesting that they have this experience quite young because it will give them a positive image of the medical world. We place them at the heart of the care of their comforter so that they better understand why we are doing this or that examination. We are really here to reassure them,” explains Mazarine Lefevre, one of the organizers of the 2024 teddy hospital.

Here, we do not use technical terms, even to name the instruments. It is very gently that Chloé, equipped with a stethoscope and a large blue blouse, talks about putting Rafik’s polar bear to sleep, lying on the operating table. “We’re going to have to operate and dress like a real doctor,” she tells the children. Without a second thought, the little boy puts on overshoes and a cap on his head before saying: “I can try!” »

“He is saved thanks to Doctor Chloe”

Chloé, the student, grabs a balloon and explains the maneuver to him: “Count to three, we’re going to put your bear to sleep with this little mask and save him.” A few minutes later, Rafik leaves with his cuddly toy in his arms, he is safe and sound thanks to “Doctor Chloé”. “You can give him a big hug now,” slips the student.

For the teachers associated with this initiative, it is also a great opportunity to dive into a new world, as explained by Karine Rossignol, nursery school teacher at the SNCF school in Reims. “They don’t know all these professions. In the playground there are often injuries and sometimes the children have to undergo additional examinations such as x-rays. Here, they learn vocabulary about the equipment and these different professions. And they will have to reuse it in class during language workshops. »


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