The Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach created the Teddy Bear Clinic to help siblings of pediatric patients, feel empowered and in control of medical procedures and/or doctor's visits through play.
The Teddy Bear Clinic is a fun and engaging therapeutic activity designed to help siblings understand and process medical experiences in an age-appropriate manner. Siblings take on the role of a doctor and perform checkups and/or procedures on their stuffed animals. Children are given the opportunity to explore and play with medical supplies and even fill out a chart about their animal’s health in a stress-free, playful environment.
“My favorite part of the Teddy Bear Clinic is seeing how positively it impacts our siblings,” said Erin Tukua, Child Life Assistant, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program. “The siblings who participated in our Teddy Bear Clinic loved being able to play doctor for the day. They expressed how much they loved being able to touch and play with all the medical supplies. Siblings oftentimes do not get the opportunity to be actively involved in their sibling’s health care experiences, so the Teddy Bear Clinic is such an empowering experience for them. “
Siblings who participated in the Teddy Bear Clinic were awarded for their efforts with a certificate for successfully examining their furry friend!
The Sibling Time Playroom, where the Teddy Bear Clinic is hosted, is a dedicated space to support the unique needs of patients and their siblings who are receiving care at the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village. The Child Life Program has hosted Teddy Bear Clinic’s in the past, and is excited to expand the event to their Outpatient Sib Time Playroom in the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village.
The Teddy Bear Clinic is one of the tools that has helped greatly improved sibling coping; equipping them with knowledge, familiarity and confidence.