Woodward Regional Hospital temporarily became the Woodward Teddy Bear Hospital Thursday as the students of Mandy Rowley’s first grade Cedar Heights Elementary class brought in their hurt stuffed animals to have their boo-boos fixed.

From monkeys with broken legs to lions with tummy-aches, the hospital’s Operating Room (OR) nurses and anesthesia providers saw it all as they demonstrated the surgery process for the first graders in the hospital’s actual operating rooms.

“The staff loved it,” said OR Director Margo Carpenter. “They thought it was fun.”

Carpenter explained that the Teddy Bear Hospital was held to help celebrate Perioperative Services Week, which is when those in the hospital community recognize all the staff involved in the surgical process.

Perioperative Services Week also provides an opportunity to increase awareness about the surgical service and “let the community know we really care,” she said.

In addition, the Teddy Bear Hospital helped show the youngsters “what nurses and doctors do,” Carpenter said.

This was an important lesson for the children for a variety of reason, Rowley said.

“It’s good to show them (the kids) that hospitals are not a scary place,” she said, noting that by seeing what the nurses and doctors do first-hand, the students can see that the hospital staff “are there to help them.”

Furthermore, this first-hand experience helps introduce the students to career possibilities in the medical field, Rowley said.

“It might be a neat job for them someday,” she said.

Overall, Carpenter said the Teddy Bear Hospital was an “awesome” experience.

And the extra effort required of the hospital staff to allow the children to visit the operating rooms was well worth it, she said, “just to see the smiles on their faces.”

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