Name of the activity: Teddy Bear Hospital (Nallesjukhuset)

Country/NMO: Sweden (IFMSA-Sweden)

Program: Children Health & Rights

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Third party activities.

 

General description:

The main goal of this project is to reduce and alleviate childhood anxiety in medical environments. The project aims to mitigate and lessen childhood uneasiness around medical professionals and procedures. Hopefully, these children will thus not be afraid to seek health care if needed. Moreover, if their parents need to be hospitalised, this will be easier to handle for the children. This project is carried out through visits to kindergartens and by bringing the children to the hospitals.

Focus area:

Children’s mental health, Children’s rights with emphasis on the right to health and access to healthcare services

Problem statement:

The main goal of this project is to reduce and alleviate childhood anxiety in medical environments. The project aims to mitigate and lessen childhood uneasiness around medical professionals and procedures.

Furthermore, the project has a pedagogical aspect, enabling medical students the chance to interact and communicate with children.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

The target group of the project is mainly 3-6-year-old (preschool aged) children. In addition, (medical) students benefit from this project as they gain experiences working with children.

Essentially the national healthcare system and public health benefits from this project, as it aims to increase and spread a more positive and open attitude towards hospital environments in children.

Indirectly this project has a positive effect on medical professionals, who may be treating these children in the future.

Objectives and indicators of success:

To alleviate childhood anxiety in medical environments. This is determined during the activity, based on feedback from the children. A follow up is made directly to the preschool teachers a after the activity.

To reduce childhood uneasiness around medical professionals and procedures. This is determined during the activity, based on feedback from the children. A follow up is made directly to the preschool teachers a after the activity.

To introduce children to hospital environments and medical procedures. This is conducted intuitively in an interactive manner.

To inform and educate children about basic and even advanced medical procedures. This is conducted intuitively in an interactive manner.

To educate medical students in pediatrics.

Methodology:

Since this project is conducted nation-wide yet locally in cities all around the country, the concrete actions that make up the activity differ slightly.

The general idea behind the activity is that children are invited to bring their teddy bears and other soft toys to a doctor check-up. A role play is conducted between medical students (who pretend to be teddy bear doctors) and the children.

Generally, children are invited to hospital environments, where they meet the medical students. These can either be directly hosted in a hospital environment or in another establishment (e.g. a university campus) which has been temporarily modified to replicate a hospital environment.

Medical students (fully dressed in clothing analogous to those worn by local medical professionals) then examine and conduct medical procedures on the soft toys brought by the children. Emphasis is put onto explaining and describing the safety of said environments, in order to reduce and alleviate anxiety and fear.

In addition, the children will be informed and educated on basic anatomical and physiological phenomena in the human body.

In some cities, this project is also conducted in such a manner that medical students travel and visit preschools and even children in hospitals. The activity is the same in both cases.

Plans for evaluation:

A discussion is conducted with the children in the end of the activity to evaluate their position and attitude towards medical environments and most importantly hear their experiences and thoughts.

An evaluation form (e.g. google forms) is later sent to the preschool teachers to gather information based on what the children may have discussed.