About the Program
The Teddy Bear Hospital (TBH) is a community project for young children that aims to familiarise them with hospitals and medical treatment. It involves role-playing scenarios where the medical students act as “Teddy Doctors”, having consultations with the children’s teddies to simulate real life encounters that the children may have in the future, such as Teddy GP, Teddy surgery, Teddy handwashing, Teddy x-ray and Teddy emergency, as well as exercise.The program provides a fun and non-threatening environment for children to learn more about medical encounters, with the aim of alleviating any associated fears, whilst at the same time, helping medical students to develop communication skills in the paediatric setting.
The Teddy Bear Hospital concept was founded by the International Federation of Medical Students Associations and the University of Tasmania program is modelled on existing programs run in Australia and overseas.
The UTas Teddy Bear Hospital program is run by Year 3 medical students under the supervision of Dr Nick Cooling (Senior Lecturer/GP).
- To reduce any anxiety children may have about medical settings, consultations and treatments by enabling them to experience different aspects of medicine in a fun and engaging way.
- To enable children to ask questions and discuss their fears associated with medical settings and treatments.
- To promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle and preventative medicine.
For the medical students, to gain experience interacting with well children and to better understand the role of the doctor from a child's perspective.
- Tasmanian school children aged 5-6 years old.
Preparation of Medical Students
The TBH has become a compulsory component for every Year 3 medical student. All selected medical students, undergo a training session, where discussions centre on the developmental age of the target group and the logistics of the day. All students are also required to possess a current National Police Check and Working with Children Check and have completed Immunisation requirements.