A new study has shown what Hadassah has known for a long time — medical clowns do help kids suffer less pain during tests.
At Hadassah, in addition to providing our young patients with the highest level of medical treatment and personal care, we do everything possible to help the child. Because laughter can be an important way to ease the stress of serious illness, Hadassah’s medical clowns work closely with the medical staff to reintroduce fun and laughter to acutely and chronically ill children.
Hadassah’s renowned team of Medical Clowns use their skills to treat children with doses of fun to help them deal with the range of emotions they may experience while in the hospital; fear, anxiety, loneliness and boredom. They provide the “wonder drug” of laughter to reduce pain by relaxing patients, and they help children cope with difficult situations.
The clowns on Hadassah’s team are all trained professionals. Their impact is felt on the entire hospital, with everyone talking about the clowns and their special brand of medicine. Along with their professional qualifications, Chris, Jerome, Dudi, Talia, Bobo, Rinat and all the other clowns share an intense empathy with children. “I look into a child’s eyes and see the person, not the illness,” says Jerome. “I don’t even think about the illness until I’ve left the hospital.”
According to Prof. Dan Engelhard, former head of Pediatrics at Hadassah-Ein Kerem, “The hospital clowns have made an extraordinary impact on the Pediatrics Division. They help acutely ill children lose their fear of hospitalization and treatment, and they forge a deep connection with the chronically sick youngsters, even those who are withdrawn and remote. Once the clowns reach them, it opens the way for the medical staff to do so, as well. For all our youngsters, the clowns turn the hospital experience into something pleasurable. They create a joyous atmosphere, in which everyone is smiling.”
See previous articles on Hadassah’s clown program: