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  • Viva Sarah Press

Time flies when therapeutic medical clowns wait for the doctor

Waiting for the doctor is an activity no one enjoys but nonetheless inevitable. So, what happens when a group of therapeutic medical clowns comes to wait with you?

The adage is that time flies when you’re having fun. And that’s exactly what happens when my clown care peers and I show up at a medical health clinic.

Today, we arrived at a women’s and children’s health clinic in Ashkelon.

We come to relieve stress, bring a smile to people’s faces and help create a more relaxed mood.

Today we were in Ashkelon. A few weeks ago, we were in Ramle.

There are medical clowns in every Israeli hospital every day.

In Israel, medical clowning is an officially-recognized paraprofessional medical profession.

There’s no mistaking who we are. We’re happy to be at the doctor’s, health clinic, hospital.

We thrive on waiting for the doctor or nurse – and the longer it takes, the better for us.

We’re not in a rush to get anywhere. We’re not antsy about the possibility that someone else might skip the line.

We have the luxury of being unstressed or unconcerned about our health or the health of our loved ones.

Medical clowning in Ashkelon, July 2018. That's me in red! Talia Safra, in the front row without the red nose, is our teacher. Photo by Eti Zilberberg

We’re in the healthcare environment because we really just want to see others smile.

We want parents to feel less worried. We want kids to feel unperturbed. We want adults to feel untroubled. We want the medical staff to feel relaxed.

We are there to lighten up the tension in the waiting room. We are there to make blood tests as cheery as they can be.

We’re there for adults and children alike. And, yes, we can make adults snicker as well.

We delight when people interact with us. A smile. A giggle. A request that we do something again.

For me, personally, that smile or shine in someone’s eye that something I’ve done has “taken them away” from the stress of waiting is irreplaceable.

When someone’s number is called and he or she almost apologizes for having to go into the doctor’s office, I know I have accomplished my mission: I helped make time fly while waiting for the doctor.

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