Teddie Garland joined our child life team in 2016 and works closely with a variety of pediatric specialists in our Children's Emergency Room.
Children do a lot better when they know what to expect. Teddie gives them honest information in a way that makes sense for their age; this helps them be successful. "While a kid might be totally familiar with taking medicine - having it sprayed in their nose is a completely different thing," she says. "Helping children explore what's going to happen before it happens is a lot of what I focus on."
Teddie partners with parents as the ones who know their child best. She has a number of ways she makes visits to the Children's ER easier for children and families, some examples include:
Band-Aid book: Teddie created a photo album of various Band-Aid designs to give children the ability to select a design that's just right for them. Beyond the excitement, this also gives children a role in their care. Bravery box: When a child overcomes a fear in our Children's ER, they get to select a prize from the bravery box. For a child, "brave" could be anything from getting stitches to checking their temperature. Activities for all ages: iPads, bubbles, stress balls, video games, puzzles, board games, books and materials are just some of the items available to help distract or comfort children. Wrangler: A dog dedicated to our Children's ER, this bundle-of-love Labrador is available to comfort children and families. Teddie's pasion for caring for children, and her interest in child development, began at a young age.
As a child, Teddie underwent seven surgeries on her ear. A child life specialist was by her side during this time and helped Teddie understand everything that would happen. In those moments, Teddie knew she wanted to be a child life specialist someday.
"I know what it feels like to be young as a patient in the hospital. I felt those big feelings and big worries when I was younger. I had someone who helped me and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's day, big or small."
Teddie began babysitting when she was nine years old and became a nanny while she was in college. As a nanny, she became certified as a registered behavior technician in applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA), which uses techniques to improve behavior. Teddie was born and raised in Happy Valley, Ore. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, her boyfriend, and Wrangler. She also enjoys cooking, traveling and trying new restaurants in Portland.