Plenty of giggles with Dr Gee Hee
Published: April 10, 2015
Over the past 14 months there has occasionally been a doctor at Richard House…with a difference. Dr Gee Hee is a Giggle Doctor, who are professional performers, highly trained to work in both the hospital and hospice environments, and with children with disabilities. The service is provided free to the hospice by Theodora Children’s Charity.
Dr Gee Hee took a moment off to explain what she does:
“I’ve been a Giggle Doctor since 2001. It takes two years to train as a Giggle Doctor. The first year we spend shadowing a senior Giggle Doctor and developing skills such as grief and bereavement awareness, intense play and child protection issues. For the second year we work more independently, but still with a senior Giggle Doctor, before we are able to visit on our own.
“I chose the name Gee Hee from the Japanese word ‘jihi’ meaning mercy, compassion, benevolence, and charity. Because we work in places such as children’s hospices and hospitals, I know the children are going through a lot of pain and ailments, and I want to absorb that and give them joy too. My job is to brighten a dark place for a child and their family, and remind them that they can find joy in a dark moment.
“I enjoy everything about my job. There’s nothing I don’t enjoy. It’s wonderful seeing and connecting with a child for that moment, even if the child isn’t responsive. I’m privileged to be part of a child’s life, and enjoy that magical moment when they focus on me.
“At Richard House I use a lot of intensive interaction, sounds and music. I use that a lot in hospices and it is really effective because you can tune into a child’s energy and make sounds and movements they respond to and you can see when they are having a good time.
“I started coming to Richard House in January 2014 and I love coming here. Today was lovely. One of the children, George, though he can’t talk, was especially conversing with me through the way he was responding, and moments like that are really memorable.”
Pictured: Dr Gee Hee entertaining George during her most recent visit to our residential area.