Violence in the Hospital

Anger, bitterness and even violence are part of the life of every hospital.  Medical Clowns need to find ways to safely honor, and possibly re-direct, these emotions.  Here are two recent examples:

“After miming an imaginary pet, Pino herself became different animals and the patient wanted to kill the animals.  So, we gave her an imaginary gun to shoot Pino.  She smiled and ended up ‘killing’ a chicken and a giraffe.   At the end, she said, ‘I’m feeling much better.'”

“The staff repeatedly warned us of one patient with dementia who was in a hitting mood. We approached this patient and asked her to smack our hands, like a high 5.  She did it, and seemed OK, so we asked her to smack again.  We gradually increased the magnitude of our reactions to her smacks, eventually ending up splayed on the floor calling for her to, “Save us now!”  She looked at us for a moment and then made a tiny movement with her hands.   We jumped up, revived, only to ask for more smacks. This encounter ended in her holding hands with us.”