We often include cartoons in our weekly tidbits, and there’s a reason for that—humor helps us get through life! Especially through the tough times. Back in April of 2019, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article by Rose Kennedy on humor in nursing. Here’s an excerpt:
“Sharon Mawby, MSN, RN, NEA-BC can attest to the power of humor. As the vice president of Patient Care Services and CNO at Emory Decatur, she knows well how fast-paced and stressful the nursing work environment can be. “As a result, nurses, who are often at the very center of care with patients and families, can become overwhelmed and burned out,” she says.
“We know that laughter relieves stress, so when nurses take the time to share stories and laughter with their colleagues, they build a sense of community within their teams. After all, nursing is a team effort.”
Here’s a link to the full article: https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/medical/how-find-humor-nursing-laughter-the-best-medicine/7OfsNKdVjZbDYsEO2ERFQL/
Another article on humor in nursing (https://www.healthecareers.com/articles/career/humor-can-make-nurses-more-productive-relieve-stress-on-the-job) includes tips from Karyn Buxman, a nurse, writer and speaker who uses her expertise to share how nurses can use humor to relieve stress at work. A few of her suggestions:
- Raise your awareness and start listening, and you’ll likely see humor that you didn’t notice before. For example, she tells the story of a nurse asking a visitor to the unit, “Are you the patient’s closest relative?” The visitor replied, “No, I live 30 miles away.” And there’s this notation on a patient’s chart: “The patient fell in July and has been going downhill ever since.”
- Put up baby pictures of staff and let people guess who’s who.
- Be sure to include patients in the humor too…tell them why you are laughing so they understand that the laughing isn’t directed at him/her. Be careful to laugh WITH your patients, not AT them.
- Remember that humor can be seen as an important leadership skill to help bring people together.
How do you and your team relieve stress? Do you share humorous stories with each other so you can laugh together? Let us know, and have a great week!