Spring 2015 American Nurses Foundation Newsletter

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American Nurses Foundation. A newsletter for supporters.




Teddy Bears
Healing Fears

In recognition of her efforts and work with the Teddy Bear Clinic, Jennifer Rhoades, RN, has been named 2014 Nurse of the Year. Out of hundreds of nurses recognized through the Honor a Nurse initiative sponsored by Lippincott Solutions, Jennifer and her story capture the essence of transforming health care through nursing.

Hospitals can evoke fear in children, especially when they are admitted for the first time. Jennifer and Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital of Baytown, TX, are “healing” that fear through their annual educational Teddy Bear Clinic.

Children and their parents have the opportunity to learn about the hospital and its different departments through various mock stations designed to educate about the process and equipment associated with each unit. When children first arrive with their “sick” teddy bears, the staff begins the process of admitting them to the Teddy Bear Clinic. From there, each child’s sick teddy bear embarks on a learning adventure from department to department before the bear leaves the hospital with a clean bill of health.

The idea came from the start of Houston Methodist San Jacinto’s Transforming Care at the Bedside project back in 2008. Through online research, Jennifer discovered a hospital using this type of educational clinic and brought it on board to highlight her hospital’s pediatric unit. Since its inception, the Teddy Bear Clinic has grown from welcoming 50 children its first year to more than 200 kids last year — and it continues to increase in popularity. Jennifer states, “Our main goal for the clinic is that kids become acquainted with the experiences that they may face if admitted to the hospital. We hope that this alleviates any fears they may have.”

Each year, the clinic looks to add new stations from different departments within the hospital. “We are always looking into the community for programs that would be beneficial to the pediatric population,” she explains.

As planning and preparations get underway for this year’s clinic, she is expecting another successful year and hopes to see more than 250 children. Jennifer is grateful for all the donations the clinic has received from the community in the past because they play an integral part in making the clinic a huge success. To find out more about the clinic or learn how you can help, visit

Nurses like Jennifer deserve meaningful recognition and support. Join the American Nurses Foundation and Lippincott Solutions to honor a special nurse or team today. Visit to show your support.


Tedy bear with bandages.

Photo: Christiaan Triebert;











Each child’s teddy bear receives an armband with its name on it to reinforce the safety aspect of correctly identifying the patient.








Kids are introduced to the medical equipment that may be used, such as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer and otoscope. After assessing each teddy bear, nurses give each child a health report to show how the “ is doing.








Kids get to see what IVs look like and see that the needle does not stay in place.








Kids get to see different breathing treatments.








Kids get to place a cast in their favorite color around their teddy’s broken limb.








Kids learn about a healthy diet.








Kids learn about safety and medications.








Each child’s teddy bear receives a clean bill of health, and the two are sent home with a goody bag from the hospital.








Kids get to see and learn how ambulances and fire trucks work.








Kids get their own identification cards.








Kids play in moonwalks, eat popcorn and get their faces painted.