Carson-Newman Nursing Department welcomes “stuffy” patients during inaugural Teddy Bear Clinic

It was a busy Thursday morning at the Drama and Ted Russell Center on Carson-Newman University’s campus. Home to C-N’s Nursing Department, the bustling center welcomed some unusual patients in need of care – as well as their preschool owners.

The event kicked off the inaugural Teddy Bear Clinic. Children from the University’s Child Development Lab (CDL) along with their favorite stuffed animals were hosted at the center by C-N nursing faculty and staff. Anticipated as a new annual event, the day hosted 16 children from the CDL.

“The idea of the Teddy Bear Clinic is to allow young kids the opportunity to experience a doctor’s office or hospital to lessen their fears of the unknown,” said Dr. Beau Christian, assistant nursing department chair and simulation director. “Through this positive experience, we hope to plant a seed of trust in healthcare and maybe even a future job in nursing.”

During the event, children were able to examine their stuffed animal, apply bandages and band-aids, listen to heartbeats, give simulated shots and presented a certificate for a clean bill of health for their special friend.

“We hope the children will feel more comfortable in a hospital or clinic setting with medical professionals,” said Tammy Hickle, director of the CDL. “It is a great opportunity for the preschoolers to learn about procedures and emergency situations in a controlled setting.”