A couple of months ago, we were lucky enough to attend a special no-charge program Mount Elizabeth Novena had put together to allow children to explore the many departments that make up a hospital, as well as the many responsibilities doctors and nurses face in their daily jobs. Doctor For A Day was fully booked as slots were snapped up the speed of lightning. I mean, duh! It is not everyday we get to role play doctors and nurses in a real live environment with the guidance of real field doctors!
Typically, this was a program best suited for five years olds and above. But our little man who is only three was privileged enough to enjoy this program despite his very young age with the guide of his older "doctor peers". The children were put into groups of ten, and brought to roam and experience various department settings within the hospital. This were recreated into child-friendly and extremely safe and fun rooms for the children to explore with simple hands-on activities. Off my mind, I could remember these rooms:
General Practitioner Room was where children were given scrubs to put on and were introduced to a real doctor, who showed them the simple use of a stethoscope, thermometer, etc.
The second room was the Accident and Emergency Room, where children were taught the real meaning of Emergency. How a mere fever would not constitute to a trip to the A&E, and how doctors in the A&E faced challenges in helping their patients be back on the recovery track. They also learnt how to do simple first aid like bandaging and using alcohol swipes for cleaning wounds and the appropriate manner of swiping. It was fun seeing how some played the role of a doctor, while others became patients. This was brilliant at letting the children understand and feel the different emotions at being a doctor and a patient.
The third room was the Nursing Room. Being a mother of two, I cannot be more delighted that the children got access to a nursery room, and experienced the function of a nursery room. They just made my job a little easier if we were to have a third child! Here, the children were introduced to infants, and how fragile these little beings were. Nurses taught them how to clean, powder and diaper change, and feed an infant. These kids even learnt how to swaddle an infant! Good lord, I learnt how to swaddle mine the day the nurse pushed my firstborn into my ward! Indeed, children these days are definitely more exposed. Mind you, the boys were not excused from this ward, and went on to take it like a man. Let's all hope this would make for more hands-on fathers in the future, yeah?
Room Four was the Operating Theatre Room! Here, the children were introduced to a very "sickly man" called Mr Smoke-A-Lot. He had an open lung with lots and lots of black sticky tar which the children had to perform "surgery" on by using tweezers and gauze to clean off. The doctor explained how smoking could cause such illnesses and some of the children continued to share what other illnesses could warrant a surgery or an operation so the children learn to take better care of their health.
These little doctors finally came to the last room or station, which was the graduating room. Here, the little ones would put on their prestigious white coats with badges that states their doctor vocations, and prepare for a graduation picture! It was that cute, everyone was excited for graduation, especially the parents! Our little ones have graduated from medical school!
The kids had a memorable experience, and even got to bring home souvenirs like a graduation certificate, a doctor badge, the graduating photo and a stethoscope! All in a day's work :) The doctors and nurses who participated in this initiative were approachable, friendly and amicable, definitely people we wish our children would model after in time to come. I love how this program helps children overcome their fears of doctors and hospitals by having a better understanding of how they work and the things they do. Doctor-For-A-Day was simply fun, educational, and a brilliant initiative by Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital!
Bummed that you missed out on Doctor-For-A-Day when it pioneered in July? Don't be!
Mount Elizabeth Novena has launched a 'Light a Dream' campaign for Christmas, with Doctor for A Day (Light a Dream) in support of their community project for underprivileged children.
Registration is now open and this event is for children aged 5-10 years of age. Each slot goes for for $20, and you will get an interactive and educational journal for your kids! This paying fee will be utilized for a Christmas party as well as gifts for the underprivileged (Pathlight, Singapore Children Society, Children Cancer Society etc.), who would be coming for Doctor for A Day the following day. The cost would be factored into an Elves Christmas Workshop that will be conducted for these children, a "Doctor's Journal" which encourages them to eat healthy and other items. You can register for a spot here! I assure you that it is definitely a small price for an experience that will go a long way!
Did I mention it was our first time there, and the hospital is spanking new, and absolutely luxurious. The place is easily accessible via the train (Novena station) and is just minutes away from shopping malls to get things you need out of convenience. This Christmas, Mount Elizabeth Novena have set up a photo wall with LED lights featuring angel wings and stars which people can interact with the photo wall and take a picture. Post these photos on their Facebook wall, and YOU will be eligible to win a set of S.E.A Aquarium tickets (2 adults, 2 children). There are five sets up for grabs. The competition would be launched on 1st Dec, the 5 photos with the most Facebook likes will win the tickets.
Another way that you can contribute to the Light-A-Dream charity drive is with the Tree of Transformation-Gallery of Hope. The hospital got in touch with Pathlight, whom have kindly agreed to get their children to paint on 60 light cubes. These light cubes formed the Tree of Transformation in their lobby, as well as a gallery (Gallery of Hope) of the other art pieces that do not make up the Tree of Transformation. The design on the light cubes are also available as a downloadable template which people can fold into an actual gift box / christmas ornament.
Each light cube is available for purchase by the public at www.lightadream.org. Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital commits a dollar-for-dollar donation for each sale of the light cube. If you are keen to find out more about 'Light a Dream', please kindly go to www.lightadream.org to find out more details.
We are big supporters of children with special needs and underprivileged children, and we definitely hope that we can garner enough awareness and support to make this initiative a roaring success!