McMaster University: White coat, brown bear


I liked it a lot because I met this guy. I like that they teached me a lot of things about teddies and bears in the Teddy Bear Clinic. You know it’s so nice for them to do all
of this for us. A lot of our kids have been afraid of the police officers and paramedics and hospitals and things like that so by bringing outside partners in and having it be an educational and safe space for them it provides an
opportunity for them to understand and reduce the fear of what’s going on
around them. The Teddy Bear Clinic is an initiative that was started by medical students at McMaster’s Niagara Regional Campus two years ago and the idea is that right now we’ve partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs here in
the Niagara region and it’s an initiative where we essentially teach
children about health care but using teddy bears. We have eight different
stations with our medical student volunteers at each of the stations and
the stations we have a variety so we have things like emotional wellness,
physical activity, a visit to the OR, a visit to the fracture clinic where you
can get your bear casted and go through the X-ray machine and essentially we’re
teaching them about these different areas of health care using their teddy
bears as the patients. It’s been shown that the teddy bear is a symbol of comfort and safety, a lot of children when they’re young it
can be a source of attachment, something that’s comforting when you’re distressed
and for some children going to the doctor can be that stressful scary time
but if you have that familiar safe teddy bear with you it can make it a little
bit more enjoyable and a little more bearable. It’s really a reminder of how
great it can be to work with children and some of the unique things that come
along with working with children. We got to test his heartbeat, test his
breathing. I learned that teddy bears have to be
safe, still remember that if a bear’s hurt, get the doctor or the ambulance to
come.

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