How is Clowning Therapeutic?

Medical Clown Calvin Kai Ku was recently interviewed by a Child Life Specialist intern at California Pacific Medical Center.  One of his answers got right to the issue of therapeutic medical clowning.

Q: How do you feel you fit in this interdisciplinary team at the hospital?

Calvin: There are a lot of times nurses, doctors, or therapists will request for us to see a specific patient who they feel will need a visit from us. It might be that the patient likes music, is feeling sad, or is known to have a playful personality that we are able to bring out.  Sometimes, an activities therapist can use the “discoveries” we make about a patient for their future interactions. Just a few weeks ago, we helped a Physical Therapist get a patient up out of a chair and back into her room by playing enthusiastic music.