This article was about The Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit in New York City hospitals. Its a crew of clowns that go to work in hospitals to help ease pain and fears of not just children but parents. The come in dressed as doctors with silly costumes and props as they preform ticks, sing, blow bubbles, put on puppet shows, and many other distractions. Their day is not all fun and games though, they see some tough and emotional patient situations but they do their best to ease the pain and situation for all involved.
I really liked this article, because not only is it nice of these people to become clowns but its also nice of the real doctors and nurses to play along and even enjoy their amusement. The clowns even help distract patients so the doctors can preform treatments and help lift the spirits of other hospital workers.
The clowns are the healers in this article, and they have the same social status as many other workers in the hospitals. They have access to most rooms and most areas within the hospital. The nurses and doctors both respect what the clowns are doing and even join in on some of their performances. They have many techniques they use with their multi-talented backgrounds, they preform songs, magic acts, puppet shows, they wear funny costumes, blow bubbles and many other distraction techniques. They interact with patients the hallways, in their rooms, in the waiting rooms, and even in operation rooms.
They appear similar to shamans in may ways from putting on an interesting outfit to having unusual behavior and even breaking cultural rules. In the US health care is delivered to those who are willing to use it and usually have health insurance that they bought themselves or received from work. The US is on its way yo universal healthcare but still has not reached its success. In this example the body is treated as a whole, the doctors treat them bio-medically, while the clowns treat their social condition and improve their illness experience. the clowns would see symptoms such as someone who appear anxious, scared or in a tough situation; the individual body (soul, psyche) and the social body. The treatments would be a simple shot of the sillies, jokes and anything to get the mood lighter and evoke laughter. The US is starting to see more and more how this may increase the efficacy of the bio-medical approach.