Many children who end up in hospital are scared and confused by the medical treatments they are about to undertake. Which is why the University of Melbourne and the Royal Children’s Hospital have established an initiative called the Teddy Bear Hospital with the aim of reducing the fear and anxiety in children in the healthcare system.

Professor Shitij Kapur – Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences - believes that the University of Melbourne Teddy Bear hospital “nurtures [student] leadership and engages the community in such a meaningful way.”

Teddy Bear Hospitals are a great way for students to get practical medical experience, and the UoM program is one of the only one that offers a range of volunteer disciplines including anatomy, doctors, nursing, optometry, dentistry, audiology, physiotherapy, speech pathology, nutrition, radiology, and surgery.

University of Melbourne students provide consultation to children’s ‘sick teddies’. The program gives you a space to practice your communication with children, build relationships with the kids and get creative with your medical knowledge.

At Teddy Consult, teddies are examined; their range of motion tested, and children are educated on injury and injury prevention. In rehab, teddies complete an exercise routine, and explore hydrotherapy, crutches, walking frames and balance measures. Lastly, now that Teddy is ready for activity, children practice their hand-eye coordination and get active using pom-poms and practicing bowling skills. Parents and children are also educated on the importance of a proper backpack with a matching activity.

2017 was the 4th year that physiotherapy has been represented at the Teddy Bear Hospital. 148 Physiotherapy students volunteered to help the teddy bears of 3600 children and helped raise $26,429.10 for the Good Friday Appeal, a new record for the Teddy Bear Hospital.

Thank you to all of our volunteers for making the Teddy Bear Hospital such a wonderful experience for every child that came through on the day. Thank you to the staff members who were able to see the hospital and students in action – it means a lot to show it off. We can’t wait to see you all for Teddy’s winter check up on August 19th and 20th at Chadstone.

Related Stories