Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bub & Me: Doctor for a Day @ Mount Elizabeth Novena + Free Edutainment App Review

Last weekend we brought Lil Pumpkin to the 'Doctor for a Day' programme at Mount Elizabeth Novena where children can get a taste of what it's like to be a doctor, for real! There's always an overwhelming response whenever they run it {I guess many kids want to be doctors when they grow up!} and we were glad to be able to have a coveted slot last Saturday.

Lil Pumpkin is a big fan of Doc McStuffins on the Disney Junior channel, and was very excited at the chance of being little doctor like her tending to patients, and responding to various make-believe medical scenarios in the hospital. Donned in a doctor's scrub and cute little hair-net, she got to experience a doctor's life for a day by caring for a baby in the nursery, responding to emergencies in the Accident and Emergency unit etc.

The 5 different scenarios took place in the actual wards at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. There were a lot of props {e.g. a giant, life-like pumping heart!} and guided by trained facilitators, Lil Pumpkin had a very engaging hands-on experience in each scenario. I like that they keep the groups small so that each kid has a chance to work with all the props and actual medical instruments. Parents aren't allowed in, but we could stay outside and have a glimpse of our little doctors at work. Lil Pumpkin was one of the youngest participants {since they only accept kids from 5 years old}, but she managed to understand all that was taught and participated fully in the programme.

At the end of the day, she was rewarded with a certificate and group graduation photo in her white doctor's coat :) It was a truly enriching day where she got to learn more about the medical industry, and perhaps, be inspired to take up a job there in the future.  There's no fixed schedule to when the programme is run, so keep updated via Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital's Facebook page

Before she went for the event though, she was already familiar some of the medical techniques and terminology used because we had already downloaded and played with the 'Doctor for a Day' app :P Released in October by Mount Elizabeth Novena hospital as well, it is an interactive and child-friendly teaching tool for parents to educate their kids in the medical profession. 

The games are designed to encourage discussions and lend insights into the varying medical specialisations, what doctors do at work, the different types of hospital surgeries, and basic human anatomy. It's pretty easy to understand with the simple pictures used, and even Lil Pumpkin could play with it by herself without further prompting by us.. although it made for a great parent-child bonding activity working through the brainteasers together ;) I got to learn a lot of interesting things about our body from the educational app too haha.

The ‘Mum & Dad’ tab on the top left side of the game  is very useful in guiding her along as it allows parents to understand game objectives, spelling of different organs and its functions etc.

One of Lil Pumpkin's favourite games in the app was the Anatomy Memory game where she had to remember where the matching images were, as well as race against time to complete the challenge. It stimulated her visual memory and she learnt about so many different body parts. I was pretty surprised one day when she walked into the kitchen and started showing me where her carpels and tonsils were! I asked her where she learnt that from and she proudly told me "from the Doctor app, Mummy!!"

Her daddy often talks to her about the animal surgeries he does as a vet too, so Lil Pumpkin is rather interested in the Operating Theatre game as well. In that game, it introduces her to basic surgical techniques where she has to inject, incise, and then remove awful little tumors or germs before stitching the wound. Very detailed and engaging, minus all the bloody gore!

Other games in the app include the latest Phamacy Panic {my favourite!}, a time-based game where kids have to observe, identify and match the medication required by patients, and My Little Doctor, where kids can let their creativity flow to dress-up their little doctor avatars with cute hairstyles and accessories.

Some other new games are "locked" and still in the works. I hope that for the future games, they can include some to educate kids on how a hospital is run behind-the-scenes and to also showcase other healthcare professionals like nurses and administrators, who are also no less important to the medical industry. Would also be nice to use personal profile photos for the avatars' faces, and some audio instructions / explanations for kids who aren't able to read that well on their own yet, like Lil Pumpkin :P

There are also tangible rewards from playing this app as Lil Pumpkin can earn points, unlock achievements and exchange for real toys at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. We'd actually accumulated some points before our visit and managed to redeem the stethoscope and syringe toys last Saturday :) Other toys that are up for redemption include the Anatomy Memory card game, just like the virtual game in the app!

The 'Doctor for a Day' App is available for download from this link on Android smartphones and tablets {eg. Samsung Galaxy Tab or Sony Xperia Z2} through Google Play Store & iOS tablets {eg. iPad or iPad Mini} through the iTunes App Store. It's suitable for kids aged 4 - 8 years old, with varying level of difficulty in some of the games to cater to the children of different ages. And don't worry, there are no in-app purchases or pop-up advertisements too! :)

I know some parents are iffy about kids playing games on electronic devices but I reckon if it's in moderation, and if it's one that educates and stimulates their minds, then why not? In just one app, Lil Pumpkin gets to train her memory, her basic motor skills, her observation skills, increase her vocabulary, learn more about the medical industry and appreciate the hard work of doctors. So much win!

Moreover, if your kids haven't had a chance to go for the 'Doctor for a Day' programme and want to see what it's like, playing the role of a doctor in this app is a good alternative to experience it. Even if they have been to the programme, the kids can still continue their doctor's journey beyond the wards with their parents at home with the app now. So go ahead and download it since it's free, after all!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored advertorial for Mount Elizabeth Hospital's Doctor for a Day App. All opinions are my own.



Rina said...

This is awesome app. My kids would love it for sure!

Annie said...

Looks like a fun and educational day. App too!

Masshole Mommy said...

What a fun adventure. She is the cutest little doctor ever.

Ai Sakura said...

Rina: Great! Hope they enjoy playing it too :)

Annie: It is! Quick download for your kids haha

Masshole Mommy: Aww thanks!

Stacy said...

Having a doc for the day program is fantastic. I don't see that happening any time soon over here, heh.

An Apel a Day said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I bet she learned from the experience. You both communicated with her to, which is yet another perk.