DR Stumblemore Hospital Caring Clown

What I Do

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Hello, My name is DR StumbleMore and up until 2016 I was a Volunteer Hospital Caring Clown at Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville, Washington. I have now retired as a Volunteer Hospital Caring Clown completing my journey of over 16 years.

You might ask:   What does a Hospital Caring Clown do?

While all of the medical personnel in a hospital deal with healing a person, I deal with the part of the patient that is not sick  My training enables me to complement the treatment being offered by the medical professionals.  I also provide a momentary smile that takes a patient or staff members mind off the serious business at hand.

Just imagine lying in your hospital bed and a man in bright colored hospital scrubs with purple and white striped socks, very large purple and yellow saddle shoes, a gently painted clown face with a small red nose and a stethoscope around his neck with a large ear on the “hearing” side asks your permission to come in for a visit?  Wouldn’t that make you smile?  Here are some examples of hospital visits I have had.

While on rounds, I met the son and daughter of a very sick dad outside his room.  They appreciated my visiting them and told me that I was welcome to say hello to their father, but that he was not responding at all.  I went into the room and introduced myself and asked him his first name.  He opened his eyes and his hand reached out to mine and he smiled.  We talked with our eyes for a couple of minutes.  I told him that I enjoyed visiting with him and he closed his eyes and went back to sleep.  We had made a heart/mind connection.

On another occasion, I was told by the nurses that a woman patient was in need of a smile.  I went to her room and asked if I could come in for a visit.  She warily said “Yes” and we met.  We talked about her situation, her family and how she felt.  I checked her funny bone with my “ear stethoscope” and it was functioning correctly.  I was also able to flush her IV with a miniature flushing toilet to make it work better for her, lastly, I performed an emergency red nose transplant.  I presented her with a photograph of the event.  She was relaxed and smiling as I bid her goodbye.

Another time, as I was entering the hospital to begin rounds, a male nurse came out of the surgical suite and saw me and told me, “I need a hug.”   We hugged, he said thank you and promptly turned around and walked back into the surgical area.

These are just a few of examples of what it is like to do rounds as a hospital caring clowns.  I realize that I may never know all of the positive effects of my visits, but I do know that I make a big difference in the way both patients and staff feel when we meet at the hospital.   Just seeing me will take the persons mind off what is going on, relieve stress and anxiety.

I have been a volunteer caring clown since 2000.  I graduated from Clown College in Minnesota majoring in Caring Clowning and have done continuing education every year.  In 2006, I became a certified trainer for the Bumper “T” Caring Clown group. This group has trained over 150 volunteers and serves 32 hospitals all over the United States.  From 2012 to 2014 I assisted in training new hospital caring clowns at Clown College in Minnesota.

I have been doing rounds at Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville since 2005.  Prior to that I was a Caring Clown at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital in Salinas, California. As of this year, 201, I have now retired as a hospital caring clown.

I also give talks to groups on what Caring Clowning is all about.  If you know of a group that would like to hear about Hospital Caring Clowning, please let me know.

By the way, my other name is Blake Thomson, I live in Anacortes, Washington and I have five wonderful grandchildren; Julianna, Gracie, Lyla, Eva and Connor.

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Testimonials

In today's healthcare environment, we need more "doctors" like him. I can't imagine us without a Dr. Stumblemore. Kudos to all of the Bumper T Caring Clowns for the important work you do.

Whidbey General Hospital is blessed to have the devoted attentions of a wonderful Bumper T.-trained Caring Clown, Dr. Stumblemore (aka Blake Thomson). Dr Stumblemore can routinely be seen in the halls of our hospital, making patients smile and lifting the spirits of staff.

From handing out smiles to checking funny bones and giving out "staff meds", Dr. Stumblemore's presence is felt by the entire organization from the patient bedside to the administrative suite. In today's healthcare environment, we need more "doctors" like him.