On December 2, 2023, Munster Technological University (MTU) will host the Teddy Bear Hospital at the North Campus in Tralee, welcoming hundreds of children and families. This special event, organized by MTU and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), aims to alleviate the stress and anxiety children may feel when visiting a hospital or seeing a doctor.
In collaboration with University Hospital Kerry, funds raised during the event will go towards providing play therapy equipment for the hospital’s pediatric ward. The Teddy Bear Hospital experience is designed to familiarize children with medical professionals’ roles and activities, reducing fear and offering insights into healthcare careers.
The North Campus, where MTU, RCSI, and Castel Education deliver the International Medical/Pharmacy Commencement Programme (IMCP/IPCP), will host students from various programs, including Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences, and Early Childhood Education and Care. These students will manage 14 stations, guiding children through the process with their teddy bears.
The interactive experience involves admitting sick teddy bears to the hospital and exploring stations such as triage, blood analysis, x-ray/MRI, bandaging, surgery, pharmacy, storytelling, exercise, and nutrition. Using teddy bears as teaching tools, students will explain hospital procedures, introduce healthcare professionals, and provide advice on nutrition and exercise.
Fiona O’Flynn, Head of Department for International Medical/Pharmacy Commencement Programmes at MTU, expressed delight in hosting this interactive event. The goal is to help children feel at ease around healthcare professionals, especially those with regular hospital appointments, and potentially spark an interest in healthcare careers.
The event will have morning and afternoon sessions, with an entry fee of €5 per child (parents and guardians attend for free). All proceeds will be used to purchase toys and equipment for play therapy in University Hospital Kerry’s pediatric ward, aiding children in coping with trauma and preparing for medical procedures. More information and ticket bookings are available on the MTU Events website.