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After supper, the pediatrics floor settles down, and families turn their thoughts to tomorrow. There is too much time to think and anticipate, and anxieties can run high. Children feel captive, victims of the procedures that they must endure.
Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe has brought smiles and delight to children at Boston-area hospitals since 1997. Inspired by famous doctor/clown Patch Adams, the troupe has made more than 25,000 bedside visits in the last nine years. The clowns provide more than entertainment, they give hospitalized children choices to help to relieve anxiety and support healing.
Helping children and their families cope effectively with the trauma of disability, illness and hospitalization is a major challenge for members of any health care team. The efforts of health care practitioners are appropriately focused on understanding and ultimately altering the pathophysiology of a childâ s illness. There is significant pressure to complete the tasks associated with treatment in as rapid and efficient a manner as possible. One of the casualties of this focus is time spent helping the child and family alter their focus from the depressing, disempowering aspects of disease and disability. Even a practitioner with unlimited time, concern and skill may still not be able to connect with the child and family emotionally, because s/he remains the practitioner in their eyes. â Clown Roundsâ benefit the whole hospital community. The troupe brings joy, laughter, song and silliness into a place where they are not the norm.
- Peg Drisko-Johnson
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