Laughter really is the best medicine. Humor has the power to change a patient’s perspective, make a tough treatment easier, and lighten up even the most difficult/vulnerable situations.
In October, Beekley Medical announced the "Laughingest LINAC Contest" for our radiation oncology customers to help promote laughter in the clinical setting.
Several participants sent us pictures of their staff dressed for the occasion and some very creative LINAC costumes.
We especially loved how the radiation oncology team at Gadsden Regional Medical Center dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz.
Jaws, Frankenstein, Gotham City and more:
However, there were a couple LINAC entries that truly impressed us.
They're gonna need a bigger boat!
UPMC/St Clair Cancer Center shared with us their shark-inspired LINAC that took our breath away and reminded us why we shouldn’t venture into deep waters.
Arizona Oncology of Associates in Craycroft resurrected Mary Shelley’s monster.
But don’t worry - there’s no Doctor Frankenstein practicing there.
To the Batmobile!
Providence Cancer Center in Mobile, Alabama turned their treatment center into Gotham City, complete with Bat Signal where even the villains were heroes for a day.
And the winner is ....
But there’s one submission that had us all singing like a specific Disney crustacean…
The radiation oncology team at Froedtert Health made Pinterest come to life with their “Under the Sea” theme.
Their treatment table was decked out with friendly fish, googly eyed jellyfish, seaweed, and even a sea turtle found its way into the sky light.
A treasure chest filled with goldfish snacks and the therapists’ costumes (scuba diver, mermaid, and jellyfish) brought the theme together in a Disney dream.
What isn’t pictured here is the accompanying playlist with songs like Under the Sea, Kiss the Girl, Under the Boardwalk, and a lot of Beach Boys.
Bringing a little sunshine into the treatment room
They had this to say about the experience. “We’ve never dressed up our LINAC. But when we heard about the LINAC Dress Up Contest, we had to.”
We asked radiation therapist Courtney Belot what inspired the Under the Sea theme and how the patients reacted.
“We’ve been treating a few pediatric patients and they’re all Disney fans. They love ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Finding Nemo,’ so we thought it’d be great to bring a little sunshine to our room.
"Our best reaction was when one of our pediatric patients walked in the room, put her hands to her face and then gasped.
"Overall, it makes the room less scary."
"The mother of a pediatric patient will say ‘let’s go to the jellyfish room,’ rather than the treatment room.
"The child doesn’t see this as a hospital, but as ‘the jellyfish room.’ It makes a difficult circumstance less arduous.”
Of course, adult patients love the room too and can appreciate the ‘sunshine’ the therapists have added.
“Patients are already vulnerable when they come here. They often feel embarrassed about the state of their health. One of our patients actually thanked us for ‘lightening up the situation.’”
Dressing up their LINAC has brightened up their department so much the team is planning on turning it into an igloo in the winter.
A little bit of laughter goes a long way in improving patient care.
Congratulations to the Froedtert radiation oncology team and thank you for everything you do!