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Teddy Bear Hospital is an exciting project that has been running since 2008. It promises to continue involving UWA medical students, and those interested in studying medicine, in the community and aims to extend to rural centres and to more disadvantaged children.
The program holds three main aims:
- To help alleviate young children’s (3-7 years) anxiety toward doctors
- To promote healthy lifestyle messages
- To enhance medical students’ communication and understanding of young children
These are achieved through role-play, whereby a visit to the doctor is simulated; a child brings their sick teddy to the volunteer who plays the role of the teddy doctor. This fun, relaxed and interactive environment familiarises children with the process of ‘going to the doctor’ and the teddy acts as a surrogate for the child’s fear. The visits also promote healthy messages to the children through the use of activities and games, such as the importance of washing hands, eating healthy food and being active.
2016 saw over 100 UWA students on the books, 20 fun-filled school visits and countless teddies cured of a range of ailments from a sore tummy to full-decapitation. In 2017, TBH hopes to continue to build on previous years, and is gearing up for a bumper year with a number of school visits as well as a rural. TBH will ensure an exciting and rewarding experience for all involved!
What you need to be a Teddy Doctor:
- A Working With Children’s Check
- Criminal Record Screening Card
- Training Day Attendance
- To be a UWA student
- Energy & Enthusiasm!