The Sláinte Society in University of Galway have announced the return of the much loved Teddy Bear Hospital to the Bailey Allen Hall on University of Galway campus.
Running since 2006, the in-person event has been cancelled in recent years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully this year it has been deemed safe enough to run the event, which is fantastic news for the Sláinte community.
Teddy Bear Hospital is a two day event taking place today and tomorrow Thursday and Friday January 26-27 2023 in the Bailey Allen Hall in Áras na MacLéinn on University of Galway campus.
It will run from 10-2pm both days and will welcome over 1200 children accompanied by their teachers and teddy bears. This event has been a staple in children’s lives and was greatly missed during the pandemic. The event will be running as like previous years, with a focus on destigmatising healthcare for young children.
The main focus of the “Teddy Bear Hospital” is to create an atmosphere of trust where children can become familiar with the medical environment and comfortable interacting with healthcare providers. The goal is to ease the anxiety and fear that many children suffer when visiting the doctor.
The event also provides an opportunity for medical and healthcare students to improve their paediatric skills. The children will begin their visit with a consultation with one of our teddy bear doctors. They then attend the ‘x-ray department’ where they will see an x-ray of their teddy’s bones.
Following this, the child and teddy can visit the ‘surgery’ where any of their teddy’s wounds can be stitched up. The appointment will finish with a visit to the ‘pharmacy’; which will have many treats to help their teddy get back on its feet, and a quick bounce on one of our bouncy castles to cheer teddy up.
Through this role-play of the child as parent and teddy bear as patient, we aim to illustrate a medical environment that is relaxed and fun as well as remove the stigma that accompanies it through an atmosphere of fun, enthusiasm and encouragement.
It would not be feasible to run such an event without the support of the volunteers. The majority of volunteers will be from healthcare courses, but they appeal to anyone wishing to be involved in the event to sign up now (information on our Instagram page ). Sláinte society is comprised of 12 members, who have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to make Teddy Bear Hospital 2023 a reality.
Emily Gaine, a 4th year medical student and co-auditor of Sláinte Soc said they are very excited to bring back Teddy Bear Hospital to Galway.
“Although our outreach programme worked extremely well last year, there is no comparison to the main event in the Bailey Allen. We’re hoping for a smooth two days, and are very excited to meet the children of Galway and their teddy bears once more”.
Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit and medical supplies, kindly sponsored by Dunnes Stores, MPS and local pharmacies including Matt O’Flaherty’s Pharmacy and Moughan’s Pharmacy.