Medical assistant students at Minnesota School of Business held a mock clinic event for young children to help kids with a common problem: dealing with their fear of the doctor.
A child’s first few doctor appointments can, indeed, be scary. Doctors, nurses and medical assistants perform multiple tests and assessments to make sure the youngster is healthy. Of course, the first few doctor appointments also include multiple immunizations that are required for both daycare and kindergarten.
MSB-Lakeville medical assistant program students—Patient Care I class and the Medical Assisting Student Club (MASC)—thought that acclimating a child to a safe and relaxed clinical environment would provide for a better, more comfortable experience for the child, parents, caregivers and medical staff.
Children in attendance were free to explore the mock clinic on their own. Students measured the children’s heights and weights and performed vitals, including taking pulses and blood pressures.
The children played doctor by giving pretend injections to dolls. The kids also bandaged and weighed the dolls on a baby scale. They even took “X-rays” of their dolls with the mock clinic X-ray machine. Children also tried out crutches, canes and walkers, rode in a wheelchair, and practiced pushing the wheelchair.
The kids got creative with medical and craft supplies, making Thanksgiving turkeys out of exam gloves, googly eyes and feathers!
Children took blood pressures and temperatures of medical assistant students. Visual and auditory acuity was assessed, and children who were feeling particularly brave had fake X-rays taken.
“No one should be afraid of the doctor office. Because they don’t want to hurt you, they want to help you. I learned that when you do an X-ray, they put sandbags on you so you don’t get cancer,” said Hillary Tabuso, an 8-year-old attendee.
Hillary is mostly correct. It is true that kids shouldn’t be afraid to go to the clinic, because health care providers provide care. And she is also correct that sandbags are utilized in taking X-rays. However, she soon learned that sandbags are used with the intent of immobilizing a body part; whereas lead shields (easily confused with sandbags due to their weight) are used to protect organs from the radiation associated with taking an X-ray.
This event was tremendously fun for the children, parents and medical assistant students.