Intensive Smile

Promoting humour in everyday treatments

Upcoming medical evaluation, treatments or operations often make children anxious or afraid. Together with this fear, these unpleasant emotions can worsen any pain. This can make any medical procedure enormously difficult for young patients.  It is also unpleasant for those delivering the treatments. 

The experience of severe pain can be traumatic for children and their families. It can also lead to long-term negative emotional and psychological consequences.

RED NOSES clowns create a unique link between the medical staff and their patients. Their presence inspires a calm atmosphere which diverts the young patients' focus away from their procedure.

Operations, or their preparation and follow-up, are perceived as particularly burdensome. Pre-operative anxiety and other distresses (especially caused by the administration of anesthetics) can last up to six months after surgery. Specially trained clowns assist children to reduce these negative repercussions like the fear of hospitals, sleep deprivation, nightmares and bed wetting.

The clowns are trained to be able to act as best as possible in these intense situations. They previously have an intensive information exchange with the doctors regarding the course of an examination or the preparation for an operation.

In close partnership with medical staff, RED NOSES clowns help to relieve children's fear of medical procedures making the procedure easier for everyone involved. The clown acts as an intermediary between the medical staff and the patient by bringing the two worlds closer together.

The professional and sensitive humour interventions are more than a simple distraction.  The interactions with the clowns reduce the child’s awareness of pain and also promote better coping mechanisms for stress. This psychosocial support facilitates medical procedures and also alleviates the parents' situational anxiety.

The Intensive Smile programme supports children, their parents and their doctors in Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. All participants report that these humour interventions turn the hospital into a more child-friendly place.

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