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Special Visitors

Clown Doctors

The Clown Doctors exist to provide a very special type of care… to treat children with the very best medicine of all - laughter.

Clown Doctors provide on-the-spot therapy of a very special kind - the joy of fun and laughter. By parodying the hospital routine, the Clown Doctors help children feel less traumatised by medical procedures, help calm distressed children, and also encourage children.

Oversized medical equipment, red nose transplants, cat scans, humour testing and funny bone examinations are all part of the fun.

Clown Doctors help children forget they are ill. By bringing smiles to children's faces, they have a huge impact on the entire hospital community…patients, families and staff.

The unique roaming nature of our program means that Clown Doctors can bring smiles and laughter right to the bedside, reaching children who are bedridden and non-mobile.

The Clown Doctors are provided by the charity The Humour Foundation.

Laughter is the best medicine

Humour therapy is the use of humour aiming to relieve physical, emotional or psychological pain and stress.

Humour is used to promote health, aid in the healing process, encourage relaxation and help improve coping with illness. It can reduce the experience of pain by increasing pain tolerance.

Release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain also helps to control pain. Reduction in stress hormones and muscle relaxation as well as providing (positive) distraction also helps.

Delta Dogs

Animal assisted therapy is designed to improve the physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning of patients, as well as provide educational and motivational effectiveness for participants. Animal assisted therapy can be provided on an individual or group basis.  During animal assisted therapy, therapists document records and evaluate the participant's progress.

The Delta Dogs brighten ward life by bringing puppies and other pets in to meet, play and visit with the patients in our Hospital. A little nose and a playful wag of the tail can brighten anyone's day.

The Delta Dogs are provided by the Delta Society.

Where do the dogs visit in the Hospital?

During their visit to John Hunter Children's Hospital the Delta Dogs will come through Wards J1, J2 and H1.

Due to various treatments and conditions, some patients may not be able to receive a visit from the Delta Dogs.