September 17, 2018

Teddy Bear Hospital: Today’s the day…

It’s Teddy Bear Hospital today at Northern, with our youngest community members and patients, together with Melbourne University medical students, checking up on their teddy bears.

The Teddy Bear Hospital is a unique educational program established and actively run by volunteer medical, nursing, physiotherapy, optometry and dentistry students of the University of Melbourne.

Northern Hospital hosts the Teddy Bear Hospital four times a year, with plan to expand next year with events at the Epping Plaza and the Aboriginal community in Thomastown.

Associate Professor Wei Qi Fan, Head of Neonatal Unit at Northern Hospital says that children often come stressed to hospital environments and the Teddy Bear Hospital relieves that stress by allowing kids to play with medical students and feel they can have fun in this environment.

“We help them relieve anxiety and stress and educate them in what to expect when they go and see a doctor. These events also help medical students, teaching them how to communicate with children of different ages,” she says.

Priya Croyal, a medical student from University of Melbourne says that this is a great way to get kids more comfortable around doctors and their equipment, as they can sometimes be frightening to kids.

“When kids are more familiar with health checks, in the form of a teddy bear, they’ll be less scared next time when they see a doctor,” she says.

Priya is currently in her third year of studies and is hoping to work at Northern Health soon.

“Northern is definitely going to be my number one choice to work at. I’m hoping they’ll have me next year,” she said.