Teddy Bear Clinic Teaches Kids Health and Safety
December 16, 2019
Professor DonnaMarie Flumignan
Professor Shannon Olivieri
More than ninety first-graders from Cordello Elementary School in East Islip visited FSC recently, and left with teddy bears, fire helmets, and other goodies. The occasion was the Teddy Bear Clinic, presented by Nursing Peer Mentors in the Nursing department.
According to DonnaMarie Flumignan, assistant professor and author of the event, Teddy Bear Clinic is a program that pairs teaching health promotion and preventative concepts in an age-appropriate and fun manner. The event was supported by a Student First Grant written by Professor Flumignan.
Children were both entertained and informed. They learned about CPR, vaccines, clean hands, healthy snacks, exercise, anti-bullying, ‘Stop, Drop and Roll,’ and more. Nursing Peer Mentors created the stations where activities were held, and chose prizes for the children. Professors Flumignan and Shannon Olivieri are faculty advisors for Nursing Peer Mentors.
Peer mentoring takes place between someone who has lived a specific experience, and another who is new to it. Junior nursing students mentor new students, and help them develop leadership and teaching skills essential to nursing.
“I could not be more proud of the work that these nursing students have done,” says Professor Flumignan. “They spent countless hours planning and preparing for this event, and their hard work paid off. It is incredible to have the opportunity to work with these amazing student nurses. They each have shown that they are caring and compassionate leaders. I am truly blessed to be part of something so wonderful !”
Professor Flumignan is her department’s community and mental health course coordinator, and visits schools in medically underserved areas. Cordello Elementary School was chosen because she identified a need for what FSC has to offer. The Cordello children will have an ongoing relationship with FSC too: Each will receive a letter and self-addressed stamped envelope from a Nursing Peer Mentor, to encourage them to become pen pals.
“The feedback received from the children and teachers from the school was nothing short of glowing,” says Professor Olivieri. “Closing comments consisted of ‘We hope to see you next year,’ ‘Awesome time’ and ‘Best field trip ever!’”