What can the clowns can teach us as patients and caregivers about relaxing, reading the room, figuring out what you're there to do, and not ending up more stressed than you went in. Maybe even having a bit of fun. In this podcast we will speak with Jason Stewart, a clown at Boston Children's and listen in on a working session I led at the National Caregiving Conference in Chicago this past November, entitled, Reading the Room and Yourself. Lessons We Can Learn from the Clowns When We Go to the Doctor's Office.  Lessons from the clowns? Humor, humanity, failure. Reading the room. You are not alone.

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Episode notes
PREFER TO READ OR DEAF? Find FULL TRANSCRIPT here
Time-stamped sections
Introducing the podcast 00:45. 2

Jason Stewart interview.. 2

Introducing Jason Stewart 02:28. 2

From Theater to Ringling Brothers Circus 03:29. 2

From Circus to Boston Children’s Hospital 06:41. 3

Embracing failure. It’s what clowns do. 09:45 4

Embracing failure. Caregivers can do it. 16:29. 5

The best human we can be 18:55. 6

Sometimes shit show at doctor’s office 20:27. 6

Humanizing the doctor. Check body language 23:31. 7

Laughter is the best pain management 26:11. 8

Part of the circle of care 28:29. 8

Caregiving conference breakout session. 8

Intro 29:31. 8

Reading the doctor’s vibe. Now what? 30:31. 9

Mimic. Micro-expressions. Put a spin on. 33:13. 9

Being remarkable, not a factory widget 35:10. 10

Genuine connection. For real? Relationships 38:33. 11

It's not looks. It’s humanity 41:28. 11

What if I can’t fire my doctor? 47:19. 13

Where’s the humor in failure? 48:32. 13

Stress you can manage, stress you can’t 53:57. 15

Karma. My bad doctor’s mom 55:43. 15

Cranky is, cranky does 57:13. 15

Which Thursday? 59:20. 16

Managing the accoutrements 1:00:20. 16

Having a bad today? 1:01:59. 17

The 30th person before lunch 1:02:42. 17

Closing 1:07:24. 18

 
Clips
Do you ever feel like you're part of someone else's play? Especially when you go to the doctor's office as a caregiver or caree (also known as patient). You and your caregiver or caree feel like crap, you're exhausted, you're cranky. What are we doing here? The staff is unfamiliar (really, they're strange). What were we going to accomplish? With these strange people? I'm a nurse, a patient expert and a caregiver expert.  Yet most of what I know and teach goes right out the window when it's me in the doctor's office. It's 50/50 whether it's a good appointment or a shit show. I need different skills, an attitude adjustment, something when I go to the doctor's office.

I used to work at Boston Children's Hospital where I led the Patient Family Experience Initiative. I took a class there from the clowns. I wondered if we could learn some of what the clowns can teach us as patients and caregivers about relaxing, reading the room, figuring out what you're there to do, and not ending up more stressed than you went in. Maybe even having a bit of fun. In this podcast we will speak with Jason Stewart, a clown at Boston Children's and listen in on a working session I led at the National Caregiving Conference in Chicago this past November, entitled, Reading the Room and Yourself. Lessons We can Learn from the Clowns When We Go to the Doctor's ...