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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Patch Adams Lifts Spirits by Clowning with the Children's Hospital Patients

<p>​World-famous doctor Patch Adams visited the Aga Khan University Hospital&#39;s Children Hospital to acknowledge the shared philosophy of love and compassion in caregiving. The Children&#39;s Hospital is leading the way in brining about a cultural shift in the healthcare profession by brining in laughter and humour into serving patients. They have been training with Dr. Patch Adams to use clowning to help lighten up the hospital environment, which can be intimidating for children, and using love and compassion to make patients more at ease.</p><p>The Children&#39;s Hospital held a Children&#39;s Gala where former patients and their families enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon of clowning with Dr. Patch Adams and AKUH Children&#39;s Hospital doctors. According to Dr. Salman Kirmani, Chair of the Pediatric Department at the Aga Khan University Hospital, this is exactly what children and their parents are looking for during such a stressful time.</p><p>&quot;We are privileged that we get to work with patients and help those who are in need and we have found that during illness, besides our skill as doctors and our world-class medical facilities, what families are looking for is love and laughter. So we will give them that.&quot;</p><p>​The Medical School curriculum is formal and pedantic, and hence as practitioners, doctors and nurses are often found to be intimidating especially for children. &quot;We don&#39;t want children to feel like they are coming to a hospital. They should see this as a fun-house,&quot; says Dr. Babar Hasan, Service Line Chief of the Pediatric Department.</p><p>​The clowning techniques and attending to patients with love and closeness has shown remarkable success. &quot;Children who were bed-ridden, start laughing and dancing when we wear funny hats and clown with them. That moment brightens up not just the child&#39;s day, but seeing their children happy and laughing has a tremendous impact on their parents,&quot; says Naureen Lalani, who is the Nurse manager at the <a href="/Pakistan/Health-Services/children-hospital/Pages/default.aspx">Children&#39;s Hospital</a>​. </p><p>The Children&#39;s Hospital keeps patient certainty at the heart of its caregiving. Nurses are at central to caregiving, and the Children&#39;s Hospital recognizes this. It has a unique nursing mentorship system whereby nurses are empowered; their voices are central to determining treatment and care for patients, and they are assigned role models within the team to support them.​</p><p>Keeping patient comfort central, the Children&#39;s Hospital has streamlined processes to make children undergoing treatment more comfortable by revising time periods for NPO status. It is found that healing is accelerated through play and joy. The Children&#39;s Hospital has introduced play therapy for inpatient children.With the goal of providing quality care for patients, the Children&#39;s Hospital initiative of the well baby clinic educates and informs parents on the importance of the first clinic visit after birth. These measures have resulted in high levels of patient satisfaction and greater comfort for patients and families.​ The philosophy behind this quality of care is to treat a person, which extends to support for families, and not just treat a disease</p>