Hospital Clowning: Bubbles to Tears

Tuesday, May 29th 2018



zombie-nurse-abril-andrade-griffith1) Zombie Nurse Parade*

*(Said with deep respect.) Arriving at the hospital in the mornings, as I go in the most striking thing to me is the stream of nurses going out.  Bleary eyed, checking their phones, chatting with a friend, all in blue scrubs and all amazing heroes to me, having completed yet another overnight shift helping young patients and keeping them alive.  As one is passing me a person behind me says, “Have a good night.”  It only happens to be 7:30 in the morning.  Makes sense.

2) Checking Inapprovement-check-16640627

In our clown office we now have three new protocols for the morning; log in our arrival time with the new software, perform a “check in” dialogue with our partner, and sign a log verifying that we have done so.  Formalizing the process is meant to help things get said and dealt with instead of letting them build up and create problems.  This is such unusual work and we are so dependent upon each other I think it makes sense.   I use the protocol this morning to get clarification on a couple things with my partner and I am definitely much more prepared for a trusting and successful day with him than I would have been otherwise.  Go figure.

3) Exit Linesexit

LEAVING a patient’s room is an art form in itself.  Ideally we create something that elevates the dynamic and we leave on a high point.  Of course in practice things can be much messier.  After interacting with one patient in Pre-Op for a while my partner says, “So, yes, we just wanted to stop by and tell you that we don’t have time to stop by.  If we had we would have loved to (plus a couple more baloney nonsense excuses).”   And then we leave.  “Nice exit line,” I tell him. He gives me some more:

  • “We have a funny bone transplant to do…”
  • “The elephant is double parked…

and of course the song; “See you later alligator, in a while crocodile…”

4)  Down by the Bay

Pulling out a kid friendly singalong for a Phlebotomy waiting room, we settle on “Down By the Bay,” for which every verse ends in a silly rhyme with an animal.

To wit: Have you ever seen a: 0

whale with a polka dot tail
moose kissing a goose
fly wearing a tie
bear combing her hair
llama eating pajamas
duck driving a truck
goat cruising in a boat
mouse building a house
frog dancing on a log
fox putting on sox
bee sipping tea
Apparently there is also:  “Time where you didn’t have a rhyme…

And Dr. Gon’ Golfin’ also gives me:  “Well it’s time to say so long ‘cuz we finished the song…”  Down By the Bay.

Another decent point of departure.

5) Bubbles to Tearsbubbles_crying_big_tears_by_10goto10-d5vdao

Last week I joined the staff in a bubble parade celebration of a patient going home, and it was glorious.  Today the same thing happened; the staff saw us and asked us to join in.  The patient’s door opens, Gon’ Golfin and I strike up the ukuleles, the patient emerges in his mother’s arms, takes one look at everybody and starts wailing.  Oops!  Overwhelmed.  We weren’t being too loud but we eased off a lot and backed up to give the patient some space… still no luck.  You win some and lose some, although he did give a little wave to one of the nurses just before reaching the doors to the elevator.

6)  Jokes du Jour: 9689387445_4043a4a2cb_n

Q:  What do you call a sad strawberry?
A:  A blueberry.

Q: What animal always goes to the baseball game?
A:  A bat.

Q:  What was the first animal in space?
A:  The cow jumping over the moon.

Q:  Where does a cow go for a date?
A:  The mooovies.

7)  As We Say in this Business: 

“If by the end of the day I’ve made only one child happy… I must not be very good at my job.” lol.  But I can distinctly remember more than one happy child today so…



About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
This entry was posted in art, childhood, comedy, health, Hospital Clowning, Laughter League, learning, love, making art, mental health, music, Performing Life, ukeoke, ukulele, work. Bookmark the permalink.

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