Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. --
A spiral bound appointment book sits on the table next to an inoperable telephone, X-rays are taped to the window, stethoscopes and a doctor’s lab coat reside nearby. The dramatic play area has been transformed into a miniature doctor’s office. Each month, the preschool classroom dramatic play area is changed to reflect the lesson plan.
However, for one preschool class, learning through dramatic play was not enough.
Twenty-four preschoolers from a Seymour Johnson Air Force Base 4th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center class toured the 4th Medical Operation Squadron pediatric clinic to learn about the importance of regular check-ups and how to practice proper health habits.
“When you’re sick you go to the doctor,” said one preschooler. “The doctor will get you all better.”
The staff at the 4th MOS pediatric clinic welcomed the children to the exam rooms and explained how check-ups are conducted.
“We want children to feel comfortable when coming to our clinic,” said Capt. Kyla Berrier, 4th MOS pediatric nurse practitioner. “Not only when they are healthy, but when they’re sick or have any concerns as well. Our hope is that young children who feel comfortable in the clinic become adolescents and adults who feel comfortable discussing their medical care with their provider.”
After their tour of the clinic, the class of preschoolers participated in a round robin of interactive activities.
They constructed a human skeleton puzzle and read books about different ways to stay healthy. The children also used stethoscopes to listen to each other’s heartbeat.
“I learned about making a skeleton and I learned about doctors,” said one young girl on the field trip.
The information presented at the clinic expanded the health lesson already being taught inside the classroom.
“We talk to the children about taking care of their bodies, eating healthy foods and we keep it as clean as we can here,” said Lace Buckley, 4th Force Support Squadron child development center lead program technician. “That way the kids are here every day and their parents can go to work and support the mission.”