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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Medical professionals who love magic (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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NurseRob
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Dallas, TX
473 Posts

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Today at the children's hospital, a newspaper was folded to the obituary of a long time patient. A child hero, who was endeared by us all in my department. Every day, the children we care for who are facing terrible circumstances, never forget they are children, and love the things all children love, and respond the way all children do. The difference with these kids is that they were dealt an unfair hand through no fault of their own, and yet they play and laugh, and pretend, and love magical things.
Aside from giving the very best professional care I know how, I have felt that I needed to give just a bit more. This I guess has always been my motivation for taking time to play with the kids, and tell silly jokes, pull coins from their ears, and sing all the versus of the Elmo song. Pocket tricks, and coins became a regular addition to my medical gear, and I now never leave home without my D'lites. God Bless Justin Styles--he's Da man!

I am pondering the notion of whether I am not also doing this for myself. Since most of what I do in working with children patients stikes the utmost fear and terror in them. Although medically necessary: IV's Labs, Lumbar punctures, Biopsies are a daily routine. The added entertainment is the ONLY thing I can do to somehow make up for the bad stuff. It is not an equitable justification by any means, perhaps simply a brief escape from reality for both caregiver, patient and family.

When the patient visit is over, and popsicles and prizes awarded, all is forgiven, and these child heroes dwell only on the fun things, as we all should I guess.

Now, I wonder if there are other medical folks who have taken up magic, or other performing art to add in the patient setting? Do you also find it mutually therapeutic?

I sincerely applaud the many here who were magicains first, and then discovered how supremely beneficial it is to perform for folks (big and small) in the hospital. I cannot leave out the Kudos for the clowns too! Your contributions to the well being of patients is invaluable! Smile
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
Mike Melito
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263 Posts

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I perform in a urgent care waiting room sometimes. The best part of performing is what I call it a bond of astonishment. That moment when the trick climaxes and both child and parent look at each other to ask "how did he do it?" Before the parent is concerned and the child is sick. However, in that moment of time the disease, flu, scrapes, broke bones, fever is forgotten for just a moment and now the parent and child have something else as a bond.
LarryTaylor
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Miamisburg Ohio
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You all are such wonderful people, Bless you all.
Magical Entertainer,teacher and creative consultant.
JasonbytheOcean
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Washington, D.C.
101 Posts

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I'm not a full-time medical professional, but have several relatives who are. I've volunteered with hospitals for years and served as an EMT-B for a while before picking up magic. The transition to working with a recreational therapy program a local hospital was a natural one. I don't have time to go into all of the ways I've found it mutually beneficial. Just a great experience and one I intend to pursue as long as I can.
manal
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York ,PA.
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I am an LPN in a long term care facility. I will at times perform something for the residents and I get as much out of it as they do.
However, co workers see it in a different light. Some feel it is unprofessional or inappropriate. I feel the benefits to the resident far outweighs these few persons opinion.
I now however do magic for residents only, not when co-workers are present. I will on occasion show visiting family members kids.
That said in the setting I work in due to the workload and demands on a nurses time( short staffed,unbelivable patient to nurse ratios, Incredibly long med passes, ridiculous triple documentation to cover facilities arse, dealing with families / resident behavoir, treatments, feeding, bedside and personal care,supervising other staff, transcribing orders, chart checks, developing and updating care plans , family and patient education,admission assessments, wound care , falls and incidents and the hour of filling out documents that involves ,sending residents to hospital due to serious change of staus or decline and the hour od paper work, notifying Phys. and poa's , taking phone calls, inservice meetings sheduled during shift,etc.......) in a long term care facility the magic is very infrequent.Whoops, got lost for a moment.
I have done full shows at facilities I have worked in for free on my days off.


NoVaCain, I wish more health care professionals were more like you.I have a 5 yr.old Autistic son . In addition to Autism he has other conditions requiring some of the invasive procedures you mentioned in your post.I hope more will follow your example .

Just home from a very eventfull shift,
Jim
Life is too important to take seriously.

james@jamesmanalli.com

www.jamesmanalli.com
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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NVC,
IMO you're doing magic for yourself and the patients.
You're conecting with them in a special way.

I applaud you folks.
Mitch Winkler
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I'm an adult medical oncologist in private practice and have been performing magic for my kids and friends for about 2 years now. I recently started performing for the children's ward in our hospital on weekends.

Though I periodically do tricks for my staff, I haven't performed for very many of my patients. This is mainly because of the fairly serious nature of our interactions. The patients I HAVE performed for are typically in remission and on long-term observation, and our clinic visits have a generally lighter and social feel.

I am considering branching out to perform periodically at hospices in our community, but haven't explored this very far. It's also because I seem to routine and perform most effectively for children.
gbradburn
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Raleigh, NC
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Perhaps you are doing it for yourself but I don't see that as a bad thing. By balancing all the "bad stuff" you're forced to inflict (for lack of a better word) on your patients with something that brightens their day, you may just be providing yourself the refreshment you need to continue to treat them.

I once read that depression is high among dentists because they daily inflict pain on their patients. I could imagine that the same might be true for you in your profession and having the opportunity to do something to balance that can only be a good thing.

I am reminded of the verse "he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" so yes, in that sense, you are doing it for yourself as well.
There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Mr Deck
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Yorkshire man who lives in Cardiff.
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Hi all this is an interesting topic for me. Before I moved to Cardiff (uk) from Sheffield (uk) I did voluntary work which involved working with men who had suffered Rape or sexual abuse as adults or children. As we know it’s a subject that is not talked about much and can often be very upsetting.

I ran a group of about 7-9 men at a time talking about how we heal and how we survive. At the end of each session I use to do some magic for them as an attention switcher. We found out later on feed back this was proven to be very successful in a lot of ways. Rather than the men going home with traumatic memories they would be thinking on how the trick was done. Ok not in every case but for them it was a big part of the healing process.

I think Magic can be used in a lot of ways some bad I.E to con people or for entertainment, but now I look at it as good attention switcher for people who find it hard at times to move on from sad memories.

Just my bit added may help someone.
Take care all
NurseRob
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Dallas, TX
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Another day at the hospital, and I continue to learn new reasons why I do magic there. BTW, Thanks for the excellent feedback on this subject gentlemen. Primarily, it brings a much appreciated distraction to those who have no escape otherwise. In the Children's hospital we frequently have clowns strolling to visit and entertain, but it is occasional. On rarer occasions, musicians will come by and perform, but much less often than the clowns. I have the advantage of being there the whole shift,5 days a week. Having the capability to bring a magical distraction on the fly, when it is needed most, is both a mission and a blessing. As an intregal part of my nursing practice, magic provides a special kind of relief no pharmacological agent can touch, it raises the spirit, reduces anxiety, instills joy, and demonstrates a caring relationship that goes a bit beyond the routine medical care. This is one budding magician who will keep his day job, no matter what!

Bravo Mr. Deck, even adult patients can benefit from a joyful distraction which trumps the unpleasant realities. Magic heals!
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
Mr Deck
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Yorkshire man who lives in Cardiff.
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Quote: NoVaCain.
“I am pondering the notion of whether I am not also doing this for myself.”

Hi all
I have been thinking about what NoVaCain said in the line above, I am no expert on these matters but I do feel Magic is a good attention switcher when your work has added stress like working with sick children.

Someone once asked me what was the worse pain that I have ever endured, after a little thought I replied “It’s being a farther and to see any on my children suffer” Which I believe to be true seeing your own child sick and in pain for me is the worse pain I could ever endure.

I feel when working with children who are less fortunate or sick is hard on us mentally and in time may catch up with us if we don’t have an outlet /channel to suppress, control , accept our environment that we work in.

So pondering the notion of whether I am not also doing this for myself.? I think we do and there is nothing wrong in that we are all human and have feelings.

Take care all
spazm
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I am a full time medical professional with my own office. I perform tricks for the kids, staff and patients. Mostly just stuff I have in my pocket. Kind of catches them off guard. It creates a much more relaxed environment and they always come back asking to see it again. Just started working with the local Shriner club and getting ready to help with the Shriners hospitals. I feel that magic has a place everwhere. It doesn't have to be a full stage production, it can just be "pulling a quarter from the ear". It makes everybody smile.
Shane
NurseRob
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Dallas, TX
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Shane, if you are not already hooked, you soon could be. Once you realize how much you can do in the medical setting that uplifts and entertains your patients, you may never look at your profession the same. Perhaps more like a daily magic show with medical care on the side. I started with only a couple of amusing pocket tricks, and a simple coin thing too. Once the magic bug bit me hard.. (Lance Burton had only to fly his Corvette over my head to make me a believer).. I really began to take my magic a lot more seriously. I have elevated my personal standard to ensure that I never do magic in a half-hearted way ever again. It is my medical magic mission. The best testament I have received as a nurse, is when the kids started referring to me as "The Magician", instead of Nurse Rob.

Although it relieved many a worried parent, not a single kid ever laughed or cheered, when their IV catheter was placed in one stick..Even though that IS my best trick of all!
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
drpop
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I am a Paediatric Nurse in the uk. I regularly perform magic at work. At first staff thought it strange (particularly at one famous paediatric hospital), but now I am often called upon to help in challenging situations. There are many recorded benifits to laughter, and I have found magic as one route to finding that laughter. I feel if I leave work having been able to put a smile on just one childs face, then I have done my job. A smile costs nothing and laughter is remembered for a long time.
to quote Hazrat Inayat Khan 'the heart which is not struck by the sweet smile of an infant (or child) is still asleep'
Magic38
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Bill Davis
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That's great keep up the good work. Even though you are not a famous tv magician,
in my book you are a great star. making folks feel amazed and entertained that's what magic is really about
WWW. WizardsMagicChest.com
Quality Magic Tricks At an Affordable Price
NurseRob
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Dallas, TX
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Drpop, it is great to hear you resonate the same understanding of doing what we do. I find that I measure my days now by how many kids did I get the priviledge to perform for. Seeing the reactions, and how it changes the treatment experience for the patients, is a real benefit to all parties. Magic has enhanced my practice in ways I cannot yet fully appreciate. It has motivated me to keep growing in this wonderful art. It is said medicine is both a science and an art, you can guess which half I am enjoying the most! cheers.

Thanks Bill for your kind words, I hope to never have to give up my day job!
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
drpop
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Novacain
As a nurse I sometimes think some forget about the caring side of our profession. It is amazing what a simple magic trick or balloon animal can do to break down barriers and even assist with the provision of care.
I am glad to think that outside of the Gasundtheit insitute (where this type of thing is standard) there are other like minded professionals. I was told recently how the atmosphere in a department I work in regularly changes when I am about, I hope for the better. When I meet new staff they always say, oh your bob. My philosophy is aside from all the unpleasant things that children have to experience as part of their care, why can they not experience these things laughing, or at least smiling.
As patch adams says Laughter is the best medicine, and has no harmful side effects. Athough I did see a child laugh so much once at a clown doctor his tracheostomy blocked. The funny thing was as the staff tried to unblock it, he was pushing them aside to watch the magic.

The real magic is not the trick, but the miraculous smile it produces.
manal
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York ,PA.
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A few years back Copperfeild was involved in a project teaching/encouraging magic in pediatric wards.
Life is too important to take seriously.

james@jamesmanalli.com

www.jamesmanalli.com
NurseRob
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Dallas, TX
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I have to share a story that taught me a great magical lesson about 3 weeks ago.

I was doing my chop routine for a 5 year old boy who had Neuroblastoma, usually a fatal form of cancer. I usually do about 3 close up effects, and close with the chop cup routine where I produce some smiley balls to give them. my close up pad is on the foot end of the gurney, and the lad was sitting indian style. He and his mother were having fun, and lots of smiles had been generated so far from an otherwise tired young boy. When I got to the part where I was about to reveal the first final load, he reached over and lifted the cup, and made the ball appear!! to my surprize, and his amazement, He lit right up! I realized that he just experienced his own magical production. He had become the magician! So I just went with it, and went on about "how in the world did you do that?!? you are Magic!!" as I casually took the cup and reloaded it for the 2nd production. When he lifted it for the 2nd time, and a bigger smiley ball appeared, the moment was PRICELESS!! I wish I had thought of this myself, but I didn't. A 5 yr old bald kid, showed me the way.

So I learned the humility and value of allowing the kids to have the finale for themselves, I am not the important one in the routine, I am just the conduit for the magic to happen in their lives, not mine.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
Thought farmer
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What a great forum full of posts that show a slice of what we are here for. Keep doing what you are doing because it is plain to see how much you all get out of it.Greater still, what you give is huge even if it is to one kid at a time. Just as someone influenced you, you are influencing others for a lifetime. Thought Farmer.
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