Seeking insight about ED Humor

  1. I am preparing a little talk about humor in the ED, and I find myself wondering why we ED nurses have a fairly universally sick and twisted spin on what makes us laugh. Also, in your opinion, what are the funniest things that come up in ER? What techniques do you use to bring humor into your relationships with co-workers and patients? I would be tremendously greatful for any helpful insights from all of you. Thanks in advance!
    "Laughter is only only therapeutic, but the early societies knew it put them in touch with the sacred." George Carlin
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   vettech
    Originally posted by LatteGuzzler
    I am preparing a little talk about humor in the ED, and I find myself wondering why we ED nurses have a fairly universally sick and twisted spin on what makes us laugh. Also, in your opinion, what are the funniest things that come up in ER? What techniques do you use to bring humor into your relationships with co-workers and patients? I would be tremendously greatful for any helpful insights from all of you. Thanks in advance!
    I think its a natural reaction to the stress. Once I was driving on the freeway in the middle oif the night durring a pretty serious thunderstorm. I hit a particularly slick patch and spun the car several times before coming to a stop on the shoulder, perfectly allingned like I'd intentionally parked the car there. I sat there stunned for about 2 seconds then started laughing so hard it took me 10 minutes before I could drive.

    In my line of work, we have the same sick sense of humor. You can't spend your days dealing with suffering from any species and not develop defenses or you'll go insane.
  4. by   l.rae
    l think we see the worst aspect of people and their problems, there is no possible way to survive this without injecting humor into an otherwise bleak situation....people are strange....l always knew this....but never have my eyes been so opened as in the ER....which l also refer to as Jerry Springer live........LR
  5. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    We see the best side of patients and the worst side of patients, rarely do we see inbetween. ER is always extreme. Its feast or famine, never inbetween. Stress plays in to it, so does behaviour of those we take care of. When you go from a hyperventilating teenager because their heart is broken, and you next patient is multitrauma mva patient, then back to a pooper and a puker, to a migraine and or whatever. You get to see the extremes never the middle ground.
    But I cant see me doing anything else, yes my humour is twisted.



    doo wah ditty
  6. by   debbyed
    Personally I think you have to be a little "sick and twisted" to work in the ER. I've been doing it for >20 years so I figure I'm real sick and twisted. I've found over those years that new nurses have two reaction to some of the horrible, unimaginable things we see. They are either deeply affected with shock and sadness and leave every day stressed and depressed or they develop what has been called a Black sence of humor. Those able to develop that sence of humor survive, the others don't.
  7. by   zudy
    I'm so twisted, Ilook like I came from a blender. I gross out nurses that aren't from er. :chuckle It is a stress reliever, tho. I can't spend my life crying, SOMEBODY has to take care of these dements, so why not me since I enjoy it?
  8. by   CATHYW
    originally posted by teeituptom
    we see the best side of patients and the worst side of patients, rarely do we see inbetween. er is always extreme. its feast or famine, never inbetween. stress plays in to it, so does behaviour of those we take care of. when you go from a hyperventilating teenager because their heart is broken, and you next patient is multitrauma mva patient, then back to a pooper and a puker, to a migraine and or whatever. you get to see the extremes never the middle ground.
    not only do we develop a twisted sense of humor, we are invariably cynical, as well. as one poster said, i think laughing at absurdities is a stress-reliever. the old saw of "i laugh to keep from crying" would apply here. also, with the vagaries of life that tom mentioned, it is hard to conceal/show the right emotions sometimes. laughter is a universally understood language, as long as you aren't laughing whwen everyone else is crying. that might be a bit hard for others to understand!
  9. by   Brownms46
    I have worked a lot of areas in nursing, and find that nurses period have a warped sense of humor..:chuckle! I find that humor gets you thru a whole lot of stuff....that we all run into daily! I enjoy working with those who can :chuckle at themselves and the situations they're presented with! Whether it's the pt. who presents in the ED with a foreign object you know where...or the elderly pt. who comes back from surgery confused as a mad hatter., or the family member who is cussing you a blue streak, for no reason, except their frustrated, and scared. You have to learn to lean on your sense of humor...or you won't last long anywhere!
  10. by   canoehead
    In high stress you have to either laugh or cry, and the people that stay in nursing are the laughers by necessity. That applies double to the ER.

    Pretty simple.
  11. by   ERNurse752
    I think many of us have a sick/twisted sense of humor to begin with, and that's part of why we're drawn to the ER...
    And it just snowballs from there!
  12. by   AZEMS
    tHE THINGS THAT OCCUR IN THIS ENVIRONMENT CAUSE US TO QUESTION WHY...AND TRUTHFULLY THERE ARE USUALLY NO GO ANSWERS ONLY MORE QUESTIONS.... HUMOR IS A WAY OF EXPRESSION TO THE QUESTIONS THAT CONTINUE TO ASK US WHY.

    IN HUMOR WE FIND A PLACE THAT GIVES US STRENGTH AND ABILITY TO WORK WITHOUT ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ANSWERS BUT INSTEAD COMING TO TERMS WITH WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT!
  13. by   RNConnieF
    Like everyone else already said, you either laugh or cry, and if you cry you quit nursing. Besides, there REALLY is something funny about being in the room when the MD gets his exam light all ready to do a rectal exam on a guy who is bent double with rectal pain and there is a light shining back at him, turns out his partner put it there and it got stuck. I saw this as a student, quite the education I got.
  14. by   l.rae
    Originally posted by RNConnieF
    Like everyone else already said, you either laugh or cry, and if you cry you quit nursing. Besides, there REALLY is something funny about being in the room when the MD gets his exam light all ready to do a rectal exam on a guy who is bent double with rectal pain and there is a light shining back at him, turns out his partner put it there and it got stuck. I saw this as a student, quite the education I got.
    "singing".....THis little light of mine..l'm gonna let it shine....This little light of mine.............. :roll

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