MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - They call it the Teddy Bear Clinic. Students from St. Francis of Assisi School in Gates Mills brought their favorite stuffed animals to Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, they put on scrubs and then hopefully learned that hospitals don't have to be scary places.
"Sometimes they come and they just visit their grandparents or maybe somebody who is sick here and walk out thinking it's a bad place, we want them to feel comfortable and just know this is a place where you can get help and you walk out feeling much better," said Hillcrest Nurse Marybeth Mack.
So the little five and six-year-olds toured the pediatric emergency room, and a pre-operative room, all to give them a sense, and to ease their fears, of what they may experience should they need hospital care.
The field trip was scheduled before the tragedy in Boston, and while this appears to be a very helpful process for these young children, it's even more so now.
"Certainly in light of what happened in Boston, we are on high alert here, we want our kids not to be terrified when they hear hospital or when they hear other things," said Mack.
The program evidently works, nurses told us they've had young patients, who have told them they were in hospital before with their teddy bears. It can be a scary world when kids see images on TV, that adults struggle to understand.
"I think it lets them know we have good safe people around, people who are helpful, who will take good care of them and we don't want them to worry and always be nervous to go places and do things," said St. Francis teacher Linda Favorite.