At Children’s Medical Center, when a teddy bear has surgery, patients like 5-year-old Nicole Martinez get to learn about their own medical journey in a way they can understand.
Plus, it’s a lot of fun, a part of childhood in short supply for many patients in the hospital.
Pamela the Bear Visits Children’s
Patients at the quarterly Teddy Bear Clinic, hosted by Child Life, get to choose their stuffed animal’s diagnosis, often identical to their own, and visit stations like Admitting, Lab, Radiology and even Surgery designed just for the miniature patients.
Earlier this month, Nicole took her bear Pamela to the Teddy Bear Clinic. Apparently Pamela had been having some stomach pain, and Nicole wanted to find out why.
The Teddy Bear Clinic
The Teddy Bear Clinic is a form of medical play that can help patients like Nicole better understand their illness, treatments and their medical team. It also lets kids talk about their feelings and their fears in a setting where they feel safe.
What sets the Teddy Bear Clinic at Children’s apart is the involvement from all disciplines, from doctors and nurses to Radiology, Lab and the Pharmacy in collaboration with Child Life.
According to the Child Life Council, Inc., research has shown that children in the hospital who engage in medical play with a trained professional show less emotional distress and increased cooperation.