RED NOSES – CLOWNDOCTORS
Some people may say clowns don’t belong in a hospital. Children don’t either, clowndoctors would reply!
Clowndoctors are professional artists specialised to work in hospitals. They use their artistic skills to create music, sing, play tricks and improvise, in order to bring energy, life and courage into the everyday life of a hospital, and thus have a positive effect on a child’s hospitalization.
The speciality of clowndoctors’ visits is that, instead of performing in front of large numbers of children, they visit patients in their rooms and take time for each of them. As a rule, clowndoctors visit children in pairs (a clown and a clowness). They prepare themselves before a visit by consulting hospital personnel and gathering information, so that they can adapt their programme to individuals. They make special preparations when they visit very young patients.
The Slovenian Red Noses Society is a society in the public interest in the area of health care and has the status of a humanitarian organisation. It has been operating since 2003 and is part of Red Noses International, which brings together organisations of clowndoctors in 10 countries (Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, New Zealand, Hungary, Croatia, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia).
The exchange of knowledge and experience which takes place within Red Noses International and other organisations helps raise the quality of the clowndoctors’ work, so that children find their stay in a hospital easier and the medical procedures less stressful. Through artistic skills and playing, clowns redirect a child’s attention and thus enable hospital personnel to carry out the required procedures more easily and efficiently.
Red Nose clown visits are designed particularly for children in pediatric wards in Slovenia. However, clowndoctors also visit other institutions such as residential care homes and working centres for people with special needs, centres for residential care, work and occupational training of children with special needs, kindergartens, schools for children with special needs, and old people’s homes. Sixteen clowndoctors of the Slovenian Red Nose Society visit more than 30,000 children and adults per year.