Teddy Bear Clinic at Memorial - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/25/06

Teddy Bear Clinic at Memorial

A Care Bear gets a check up during Memorial Health's Teddy Bear Clinic. A Care Bear gets a check up during Memorial Health's Teddy Bear Clinic.

Many kids believe going to the doctor is unbearable; however, Memorial Health University wanted to show children they really have nothing to worry about. They did it by taking care of some very special patients.

They were lined up the door for a special clinic at Memorial Health, but this one wasn't for the kids. It was for their stuffed animals. It's known as the Teddy Bear Clinic, but it's open to all members of the animal kingdom, each one with their own boo boos.

"He's sick," says Carmen, clutching her stuffed friend. "He's got a cold."

Medical professionals here took time out to check out the lungs, ears, arms, legs and even hearts of these special friends. They know a little TLC for the animals now will help them deal with children's injuries later.

"It prepares them to go to the doctor, that its not all bad, that it can be a lot of fun," explained Christie Burns with the Georgia Ear Institute.

Doctors and nurses say it's more than just a chance to have fun. It's a chance to get to know the kids and ease their fears, so they'll breathe easier.

"She's wheezing a little bit," explained a doctor to a young girl about her stuffed toy. "Let's get her taken over to the respiratory center."

Station to station, kids got a good taste of bedside manner. Organizers say the Teddy Bear Clinic allows the doctors to step out from behind their masks, make sure those worried looks go away, and show kids that even a few stitches aren't so bad after all.

"Just not to be afraid and not to be scared," said Miles Swanson of Memorial Health. "We'll take good care of you."

In the end, kids left with a few bandages on their animals, smiles on their faces, and a healthy attitude towards the hospital.

Hundreds of volunteers from more than 35 different departments at Memorial Health University helped make sure every animal was well taken care of.

Reported by Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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