02/17/12 — Hospital plans teddy bear clinic Saturday

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Hospital plans teddy bear clinic Saturday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 17, 2012 1:46 PM

As anyone anticipating an operation knows, there can be a bit of anxiety attached.

For a child, the fear is compounded.

Whether going into the hospital for surgery or if they know it is happening to a loved one, the hospital can be a scary place.

Wayne Memorial Hospital is hosting a Teddy Bear Clinic Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to help make children comfortable about coming to the hospital, whether for themselves or as a visitor.

Hosted by the surgical services department at Eastern Regional Surgery Center, this is the first time in several years that the clinic is being offered.

Appointments are required, and stuffed animals are recommended.

Staff members will take the children and their toys through the admission, surgery, recovery and discharge phases. The goal is to familiarize them with the hospital setting and go through all the steps a patient would experience.

"One thing is to alleviate children's fears like if they have surgery, show them what's going to happen to them by performing surgery on the bear," explained Jody Palmer, administrative coordinator for surgical services.

Whether the child will be having an operation or has concerns about a family member going into the hospital, the clinic is an opportunity to educate them on some of the routines.

So far, Ms. Palmer said she has had 32 children register, from ages 1 to 9. A few appointments are still available by calling 731-6766.

"We're scheduling four every 15 minutes, and it is still one-on-one," she said.

The hope, she noted, is to continue doing this or something similar for children in the future.