Hospital hosts Teddy Bear Clinic

Liam Holland, 5, uses the stethoscope to check the heart rhythm of his stuffed animal Bandit during the Teddy Bear Clinic on Saturday morning at Medical City Weatherford. 

Medical City Weatherford hosted the first annual Teddy Bear Clinic on Saturday morning to help reduce fears that kids may have when visiting the hospital.

Kids brought in their stuffed animals and toys to get the full hospital experience, such as IV placement and lab draw, splinting and casting, X-rays, and flu tests, strep tests and breathing treatments.

“The whole point of the event is to alleviate the fear a child might feel when coming to the hospital— or even a doctor’s office,” Medical City Community and Public Relations Director Holly Yarborough said. “Children bring their favorite teddy bear, stuffed toy or doll and it’s used to walk them through the hospital experience. The child accompanies their ‘patient’ through clinical stations to get a hands-on look at what actually takes place. Our goal is to provide a fun environment for children to experience the hospital without the worry of being poked or encountering unfamiliar equipment.”

Several parents, some of whom work in the hospital, said they wanted their kids to learn to be less afraid in medical situations.

“Getting out in-person and seeing it firsthand versus on TV helps them a lot,” emergency department nurse Jaime Hall said. Hall brought her 2-year-old daughter Jasper to the event.

Cherie Holland, who brought her 5-year-old son Liam to the clinic, said her kids are still afraid of the doctor’s office despite her working in the catheterization lab at Medical City Weatherford.

“Just because mommy comes home in scrubs doesn’t mean all scrubs are friendly,” Holland said.

Holland said being less afraid of hospitals and doctor’s offices is important for her kids to handle medical issues in the future. Her husband’s family has a congenital heart defect, which means her son could need surgery at a young age.

“He needs to know that this is where you get help,” Holland said.

Medical City Weatherford CEO Sean Kamber brought his 2-and-a-half-year-old son Steven to the Teddy Bear Clinic as well. Kamber said kids may more often be coming to the hospital to see a family member, and they should feel comfortable. If a child is coming to the hospital for their own medical issue, then they can know what to expect.

“The hospital is not a scary place,” Kamber said.

Kamber said the staff has been focusing more on making the hospital kid-friendly, similar to how a pediatrician operates.

“That’s been a focus for us as well, is making sure that the community knows that they can bring their little ones to us, and we can get them taken care of,” Kamber said.

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