When first year doctor, Anne Tripaydonis was on placement at Wimmera Health Care Group in Horsham in May, she took part in a ‘Teddy Tour’.
The tours are run by the health service in conjunction with local kindergartens with the goal of taking the fear out of coming to hospital.
The children come through the Emergency Department with an ‘injured’ teddy bear and meet a nurse or doctor who examines teddy, before they move to radiology and the children’s ward.
Dr Tripaydonis was the doctor who showed the children through the Emergency Department.
“I had never seen a tour like this and it was just great. The children clearly enjoyed it but they also got so much out of it,” Dr Tripaydonis said.
“You could see them relax and they were asking questions and it really helped get rid of their fears.”
She was so impressed by the tour that she went home and decided to add to the experience by creating a ‘Teddy Ambulance’.
The mini ambulance is complete with flashing lights and sirens and has a teddy bear and doctors toys inside. It is being used to enhance the experience and reiterate what the children learn in the tour.
Wimmera Health Care Group communications manager Amelia Crafter runs the tours and was very grateful for the gift.
“The Teddy Ambulance is fantastic. It was a great gift from Anne and the children have absolutely loved it,” Mrs Crafter said.
“It was very thoughtful of her to add to our tour and the childrens’ experience.”