Clinic facilities

OSF nurses teach children about teddy bear care at the Saturday clinic in Bloomington






From left, Kristin von Nordheim, OSF St. Joseph nurse and clinical educator for the Family Care Center, shows 4-year-old Rhett Goodale of Minonk how to use a stethoscope on her Buzz Lightyear doll. At least a dozen other children attended a teddy bear clinic Saturday held at the Bloomington-Normal YMCA.


Brendan Denison



BLOOMINGTON – All teddy bears need tender love and care.

A group of about seven nurses from OSF St. Joseph Medical Center showed more than a dozen children on Saturday how they provide medical care at a “Teddy Bear Clinic.” Bloomington Hospital partnered with its new neighbors by hosting the free event that morning at the Bloomington-Normal YMCA.

Sheri Piper, director of nursing at OSF St. Joseph, said the clinic was held to help honor Perioperative Nurses Week, which ended Saturday. This area of ​​nursing, she explained, covers patient care before, during and after surgery.







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Sheri Piper, director of nursing at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, registers Buzz Lightyear as a “patient” for a teddy bear clinic in Bloomington. Right is Rhett Goodale, 4, of Minonk.


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Another part of the clinic was to familiarize the children with medical equipment and make them more comfortable with their next hospital visit, according to Kristin von Nordheim, OSF nurse and clinical educator at the Family Care Center.

Some of the clinic’s patients included a large teddy bear, a shark, Buzz Lightyear, two tigers and a “bun-bun,” Piper said.

Lisa Thoennes brought two of her children: Jack and Luke Thoennes, 6, both from Bloomington. The two boys came with their stuffed animal named “Big Dino”.

The mother agreed that the clinic was a great learning experience for the children.

“It’s so good,” Thoennes continued. She said if they don’t have these experiences, they won’t know what’s going on in a hospital.

Registration

The children and their patients passed through five stations at the clinic, each staffed by a nurse. Piper ran the check-in station and Courtney Bier, a registered nurse and manager of the OSF intensive care unit, helped the children push their stuffed animals into a bassinet cart for transport.

Rhett Goodale, four, from Minonk, brought in Buzz Lightyear for a checkup. He said he liked pushing Buzz in the cart.

Von Nordheim worked at the pre-surgery station, showing the kids supplies like stethoscopes and bouffant caps. She said she enjoyed the children’s curiosity and listening to their questions.







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From right, 6-year-old Jack Thoennes of Bloomington helps Amanda Repplinger, an OSF St. Joseph nurse and educator for perioperative services, bandage her “Big Dino” stuffed animal on Saturday. The dinosaur came to have a tear in his neck treated at a Bloomington-Normal YMCA teddy bear clinic.


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Then, at the surgery station, Amanda Repplinger, nurse and educator for OSF Perioperative Services, explained how they use anesthesia, do stitches, and have patients dressed in gowns.

She also helped the Thoennes boys heal a tear in Big Dino’s neck.







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From left, Amanda Repplinger, OSF St. Joseph’s nurse and educator for perioperative services, shows sisters Chloe Powell, 3, Ellie Powell, 8, and Karis Powell, 6, how to prepare their teddy bears for surgery at a Saturday clinic in Bloomington.


BRENDAN DENISON, THE TROUSER


Eight-year-old Ellie Powell arrived at the clinic with her grandmother and two sisters, Karis and Chloe Powell, 6, 2. They each had a stuffed animal; Ellie’s is a white tiger named “Zoe”.

Ellie Powell said Zoe had a cold and the nurses told her they would give her medicine for the tiger.

After the surgery, there was a recovery station, run by OSF orthopedic and neurology registered nurse Meghan Lehman. She took patients’ vital signs like blood pressure, and said it was great that they could start educating children about health at a young age. Lehman said that by interacting with things like IVs beforehand, kids won’t be afraid of them in the future.







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Left to right, Meghan Lehman, a registered nurse at OSF St. Joseph in orthopedics and neurology, explains to Bloomington brothers Jack, 6, and Luke Thoennes, 9, on Saturday how a nasal cannula delivers oxygen to patients who are recovering from an operation. The two boys brought their stuffed animal “Big Dino” in for treatment for a tear in their neck at the Bloomington Teddy Bear Clinic.


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Most of the OSF nurses attended voluntarily, with the exception of Lisa Strack, whose unpaid training hours at the clinic counted toward her trauma certifications. Strack talked to the kids about general safety tips, when to call 911 and when to “stop, drop and roll.”

Lisa Pittman, vice president and chief nursing officer of OSF HealthCare, said the clinic was ideal for children.

“That’s what our amazing nurses do every day,” she said, adding that their efforts reduce patient stress and anxiety.

Pittman said the clinic is also a great opportunity to make health care and hospital visits less scary for children who may not have been exposed to medical settings before.

Piper said the OSF really helps nurses get involved in the community and in education.

She said the clinic “aligned perfectly” with that. And, it was fun.

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Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison