Local kids get hands-on medical experience at 2nd annual Teddy Bear Clinic

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 12:13 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 1:49 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - This past weekend was National Teddy Bear Day, and one local hospital used those bears and other stuffed animals to teach and give kids hands-on medical experience.

Most of the time it’s the parents bringing their kids to the doctor for a health check up, but Saturday kids brought their teddy bears and stuffed animals... all in an effort for them to learn about medical treatments.

“I learned that if you don’t have an X-ray, you can’t figure that stuff out,” said second grader, Alexander Bragg. “That’s how they figured out I had a broke elbow.”

Piedmont Columbus Regional hosted their 2nd annual Teddy Bear Clinic at the Piedmont Midtown Conference Center.

“This is where kids bring their favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal and go through the children’s hospital like they would if they had to come to the children’s hospital, but the teddy bear receives all the care,” said Jessie Brown, Children’s Miracle Network Officer for Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation.

With various stations set up for the kids to help administer and watch their stuffed animal receive medical treatment.

Brown explained some of the stations children experienced during the clinic.

“So, when the child comes in, they’ll first go to triage and they’ll get their weight, temperature,” said Brown. “Then they’ll get an IV put in before surgery. Then they’ll go to X-ray before they go in. And once they get to surgery, they’ll sign a consent form. Got to get the kids permission to do surgery on their teddy bear, and then, they’ll go get a little mask put on. They’re getting stitches with yarn put in, and then we’ll wheel them out on a little wheelchair to get discharged and get well at home.”

All to help kids overcome the fear of coming to the hospital and to know what to expect.

“As we went along and he got to look at the different stations, he started to warm up and he really enjoyed it,” said Angel Allen, parent.

The clinic even fueled second grader Asa Carmona’s interest in one day being in the medical field.

“”Yea, discharge, and I love doing this (putting a cast on), and that was my favorite part,” said Asa. “So, I can help people, and like I can be part of community.”

But the festivities didn’t stop there.

Outside, other vendors such at Columbus Fire Department, Scotts Miracle Riders and more had snacks and activities for kids and information for parents.

If you missed this year’s clinic, the event is slated to be held again next year at the new Bill and Olivia Amos Children’s hospital expected to be open in 2024.