They say laughter is the best medicine and thanks to a dedicated team of specialists in play, sick children at the Canberra Hospital can get their daily dose of fun.
The Canberra Hospital employs a permanent play therapist and paediatric patients also receive weekly visits from the Humour Foundation's clown doctors.
Pablo Latona, or Dr Snooze, is one of three clown doctors in Canberra. After starting out training and performing with the Warehouse Circus, Mr Latona decided he wanted to find a more fulfilling career path.
He was one of the first clown doctors employed in the ACT and he said he doesn't ever want to give it up.
"To watch their face transform, and the energy in the room transform is really special," Mr Latona said.
The Humour Foundation employs 67 clown doctors in 24 hospitals nationally and they estimate they impact about 230,000 patients, staff and family members each year.
Mr Latona said a lot of their work involved calming down stressed family members as that would have a flow on effect to children.
He said it was not just the clown doctors job to make children laugh, that part of their job was to uplift and empower the patients.
"In this environment, adults are always giving them instructions," Mr Latona said.
"Coming in and saying 'be happy now' is just another instruction and that's not what we want to do."
In addition to visiting children in their rooms, Mr Latona said a big part of the job was to distract a child while a potentially painful procedure was taking place and to be an added level of support for the young patients.
The clown doctors visit all patients on the paediatric ward, from newborns to 18 year olds, and Mr Latona recalled a time when he and partner Ruth Pieloor (Dr Whoops) played calming music that crucially brought a baby's heart rate down. He said they had even sat with a teenage patient and written a heavy metal song.
"It's sort of like detective work, figuring out what this kid might need right now and reading the room," he said.
Play therapist at the Canberra Hospital Larah Nicholls said fostering a sense of fun was important to all paediatric staff.
"I love to see children experience joy and play even when they're going through a really tough time," Ms Nicholls said.
"We want to ensure that the most important part of a child's life, which is play, is available and encouraged in hospital."
Ms Nicholls said she uses a lot of exposure therapy, where children can safely play with medical equipment, so they become less scared of any procedures they may face.
The paediatric ward has a playroom available to children and family 24 hours a day, seven days a week and there is a toy library so children in isolation don't miss out on the fun.