NEWPORT – Stratton Elementary kindergarten students received a first-hand experience at a recent teddy bear clinic hosted by Newport Hospital and Health Services.
Four classes, teachers and parents arrived at NHHS and were greeted by Dr. Geoff Jones and Dr. Aaron Reinke in the emergency department. Both providers, along with multiple staff, enthusiastically walked the students through a medical scenario with the beloved patient, Mr. Teddy Bear, who presented in the emergency department with severe lacerations. This scenario allows providers to explain the reasons behind a visit to the emergency room, explain equipment, and alleviate potential apprehension among the students.
Following examination of Mr. Bear’s injuries, Dr. Jones recommended him for immediate surgery. Upon entrance to the surgical floor, students donned masks, surgical caps, and gowns with the expert assistance of the NHHS surgical nursing team. With students gathered in the operating room, a simulated surgery played out before them. Dr. Reinke proceeded to treat Mr. Teddy Bear, explaining his steps, equipment and even anesthesia.
“It was neat to see all the kids and quell their fears about coming to the hospital … they were really into what we were doing,” said Dr. Reinke, as this was his first teddy bear clinic.
Dr. Geoff Jones began the teddy bear clinics in 2009 when his oldest daughter was in kindergarten. In addition to easing children’s fears about hospital visits, Dr. Jones continues the teddy bear clinics as a way “to emphasize to the community that we are here as a public hospital — this is a community hospital and we are here to help.” He also added, “And, to some degree, I do these things because I can – only in a small hospital can you take kids to an actual ER and actual OR to sew up a bear!”
Note: No HIPAA laws were violated for this story...Mr. Teddy Bear signed a release allowing NHHS to share his story.