Speed Reading — Healthcare Clowns - Level 5 — 400 wpm

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An English adage says, "laughter is the best medicine". Today, humour is needed more than ever. Medical staff are understanding this and using humour in their care. Clown doctors and healthcare clowns are becoming common in hospitals around the globe. There is even a European organisation that sets standards. It was established in 2011. It says: "Healthcare clowns bring moments of happiness and distraction to children who are ill or who have special needs....Clowns also bring smiles to vulnerable adults, including seniors and people with dementia who are in hospital care."

Healthcare clowns are especially popular in Israel, which is a world leader in the field. The first university to offer a Bachelor's degree in medical clowning was in Israel, in 2007. A Jerusalem healthcare clown wanted to use her inner clown to help patients after a COVID-19 ward opened. She knew the clown inside her would have therapeutic benefits for her patients. It reduces their anxiety and improves their wellbeing. She said: "Obviously, the doctors, they take care of the body. And we come in and take care of the soul. And it integrates together - the doctors understand this."

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