Teddy Bear Clinic empowers pediatric patients with life skillsAug 2, 2023
Baptist Children’s Hospital plans to add this interactive activity as a regularly scheduled event for its patients each year
(San Antonio, TX) - Pediatric patients at Baptist Children’s Hospital took part this summer in the hospital’s first “Teddy Bear Clinic” an interactive, learning experience where they played the role of doctor to plush Teddy Bear patients. The activity was such a success, hospital staff say they plan to incorporate it as a regularly scheduled event for their patients each year.
During the simulated clinic, pediatric patients cared for their bears as they guided them through a day in the hospital – from admissions, to examinations, to testing, and discharge. Cases of Teddy Bears were donated to the hospital for this event by the mother of a hospital employee and by local businesses.
Hospital staff say the Teddy Bear Clinic helped put smiles on the faces of the sick kids in the hospital, helped alleviate their fears of the hospital setting, taught them valuable communication skills, and empowered them with confidence in situations that, to them, can be scary.
Each child received a Teddy Bear and a "Patient Admission Form.” Pediatric nurses and child life specialists helped the children complete their bear’s information and provided their bear with a name band. The kids then took their bear to a few different simulated toy “medical stations” and helped their bear learn what would happen next. They guided and comforted their bear as the bear completed each task, such as getting its blood pressure checked, or getting an IV or an X-ray.
The kids interacted at their own pace with various toy medical equipment and learned more about what goes on at a hospital when it comes to helping patients heal. Upon “discharge,” each child kept their "Better Bear" and received a gift supply of items to continue caring for their bear as well as a prescription for lots of hugs to keep their bear healthy.
For more information about Baptist Children’s Hospital, visit https://www.baptisthealthsystem.com/locations/detail/baptist-children-s-hospital-at-north-central#LocationServicesId