I chose Clown Doctors because I have children myself and also one of my best friend’s is a pediatrician. I found this article to be quite interesting with the research provided. I personally do not like clowns and before I read the article, I couldn’t understand how patients or parents would like the goofiness that clowns bring along but I will say I was wrong and pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
This article is based on “Clown Doctors.” These “doctors” being studied belong to the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit in New York City hospitals. It is a group of professional clowns that spend their days trying to relieve the stress, pain, anxiety and doubt that child patients have. Many of these patients have life altering and possibly life ending prognosis and the clowns are there, not to heal, but to change their outlook, even if just for a little bit. The CCU Interestingly holds a similar resemblance to the shamans of non-Western societies due to their practices to ensure psychological healing. These psychological healers rehearse the perfect approach for both the patients and their parents to ensure a certain kind of reaction.
The hospital staff likes these healers, the doctors and nurses are thankful for them. The CCU knows their boundaries and appreciates the severity of the situation these children are in. They use traditional doctor attire like lab coats, stethoscope and syringes but not in the intended way. They use these as props to get laughter. They include puppets and scarves. These clowns have direct contact with the patients and their parents. They go into the waiting rooms and the patients’ rooms to cheer them up. It was mentioned in the article that one of their tactics was to let the sick patient shoot his/her sibling(s) with a water gun. This would let the child feel that they are in control and maybe not have resentment towards them for being healthy and not being sick like the patient.
The CCU believes that body and mind both have to be healthy to have a healthy life. They recognize that there needs to be an integration of mental health along with physical health. These “doctors” are doing just that. The combination of additive medicine into our advanced medical world has become more mainstream in our country. These clowns are just another step in that direction.