Dr Barks visits GAP

The Thursday/Friday GAP class were excited to welcome Dr Brandon Barks and his wonderful assistants to our morning circle today.

Dr Barks is an anaesthetist and came in to talk to the children about what doctors, specifically anaesthetists, can do for people when they are in pain in the hospital.

Dr Barks was wearing his special clothes called “scrubs”. His are blue. The ones we have in our dress up box are green. He also had a cool bandana on his head with pictures of narwhals on it, and that stops any stray hairs from getting into the operating theatre when he is working. He also had a stethoscope he can use to listen to people’s hearts and their breathing.

One of Dr Barks’ assistants was a big pink teddy. We saw close up what it would be like for Teddy to have a broken arm fixed up at a hospital. First, Teddy got to sit on his Mummy’s lap having a cuddle while the doctor looked at Teddy’s arm. He told the doctor how much it hurt and whether he could move his arm properly. The doctor said he could help fix Teddy’s arm, so Teddy put on a special mask which smelled “like unicorn farts” and he felt very sleepy. When Teddy woke up again, his arm was fixed up in a cast, and he had a tiny tube called a canula in his other arm so that he could have some more medicine through that. We got to check out the canula on Teddy’s arm, see and smell the special mask and check out all the bandages.

We found out that if the children wanted to be anaesthetists when they grew up, they would need to go to GAP, then Kindergarten, then another 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 years of school, then university, then more university, then learning in the hospital, then more university… It sounded exhausting, but Dr Barks said he loves his job so maybe it would be worth it.

Even if we didn’t want to be doctors or anaesthetists, we did feel like a hospital visit would not be so scary now that we had seen these things and learned about them at GAP.

Dr Barks and his lovely assistants had kindly brought enough empty syringes (without needles in them of course) for everyone to have one, so after morning tea we went outside with some coloured water and got busy!

We found out that using a syringe to draw up coloured water and then squirt it out again is actually quite tricky! It gave us lots of fine motor and eye-hand coordination practice.

A new vaccine being developed at GAP by our first year med students. Perhaps it should be fast-tracked to the market to help in the pandemic.

Our imaginations went wild and using the syringes was a very popular activity. We used the syringes and coloured water to make potions, vaccines, colourful art, mix different colours, bring dinosaurs back to life, wet the sand, and squirt the slide to make it more slippery.

Blue and sand makes a great magic sludge potion.

These syringes were fascinating pieces of equipment to experiment with. Rest assured though, we also talked about what to do if we found a syringe in the park: don’t touch it; and tell an adult.

A careful squirt of green might just bring a pterodactyl back to life.

We are grateful to our families who come in to tell us about their jobs. It enriches the children’s experience enormously, and we are always happy to see you! Thank you to those who have come in recently or are coming in soon.