Teddy Bear Hospital



Teddy Bear Hospital (TBH)



The “Teddy Bear Hospital” (TBH) is a Public Health project for 3-6 year old children. The aim is to take children’s fear of physicians and hospitals. Besides it is also a good opportunity for medical students to work with children.

Everybody will once have to cope with the problem to examine children or to take a child to the doctor’s office. The little patients are suddenly in the unusual environment of a hospital. This is often inconvenient for them or is sometimes even associated with some unpleasant examinations and treatments. Indeed who of us likes to go to a doctor? Children are more frightened than adults when they have to visit a physician. Crying, tears and helpless parents often prevent an efficient work.

The project TBH wants to help in this situation and tries to familiarize children in a friendly and pleasant atmosphere with the situation in a hospital or pediatrician’s office.
In this case the children are the parents of their teddy bear or doll. As Mum and Dad they are responsible for their sick little friends. Now the children are the adults who have to take care of the teddy bear patients. Trained medical students act as teddy doctors and do the examinations and treatments. It is important that we do not want to handle with the child’s own illness.

A hospital can be set up on various places (in decorated colorful tent on a big square in the city centre, in the school's GYM, in a hall in kindergarten,..). The kindergartens of the city will be invited to visit the hospital. But the hospital is also open for other children and their parents. Usually in one Teddy Bear Hospital of two days about 400 children could be examined with their toys.

Before their visit in our TBH the nanny or nurse should discuss and talk with the children about “being ill”, physicians and hospitals. The children should think about diseases for their dolls which will be treated later in the TBH.

First the children explain the history of the present illness of their teddy bear to a teddy doctor. Together they make an anamnesis and after this the teddy doctor does an “physical examination” (e.g. palpation, auscultation…) and further diagnostics ( e.g. “X-Ray”). Most teddy bears and dolls have fractures of legs and arms. After this the patient gets a medical treatment. We only practice non-invasive treatments with tapes and bandage. Finally the teddy doctor writes a prescription and the child can get some “medicine” sweets in the “TBH- Pharmacy”. Besides they have also the opportunity to explore an ambulance car.

During the waiting period the children can play in a special playground and waiting area. The children are supervised by their kindergarten teachers and special pediatric nurses. Students of psychology can be invited to join the project and evaluate children's behavior.

Aims of TBH:

  • Helping young children between ages of 3-7 years to lose their fears of doctors and hospital environment in a playful and non-threatening way.
  • Establishing good rapport and communication skills between the children and the medical students.
  • Giving medical insights to children.
  • Providing an opportunity for medical students to know more about pediatrics and also giving those interested in pediatrics a chance to work with children
  • Promoting IFMSA and the other medical students organizations involved
  • Providing a fun-filled, enjoyable and thrilling time for both the children and ourselves

Focus in contents of the TBH- Program is the children dealing with the topic “hospital and illness”. Impressions and ideas, which children have acquired by family and media, should be critically looked at and corrected in playing if necessary. The topical center lays in the meeting between child and future doctor. Aim of every medical work should not only be the treatment, but also the building of a solid foundation of confidence between the doctor and his little patient. We want to show the children, that illness and the fight against it is part of everyday-life and does not necessarily have to be experienced as threatening or frightening.


Photos from Teddy Bear Hospital



If you have questions consult Our Officer:

Local Officer on English Program

Kinga Együtt