"Gallows" humor

  1. I have been in oncology for 5 years and nursing for 10 and was wondering what other onc. nurses feel about "Gallows Humor". I find that the longer I work in this field, the more this seems "normal". I am a very caring person, and (as most of us do), often feel I get closer than most nursing theorists would say is healthy. I'd be interested in others opinions. (by the way, by "Gallows humor" I mean those inappropriate comments/jokes healthcare works sometimes make to each other...)
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm not an oncology nurse, but I think gallows humor is universal in the healthcare professions, as it should be; after all, if we don't laugh, we'll end up crying.........or going off the deep end! Like police officers and others who often see humanity at its worst, we just have to offload the craziness somehow, or we risk carrying it home to our families and friends........so we try to out-gross each other, laugh at our patients' pathetic situations ("Can you believe that poor woman was trapped in the bathtub for TWO WEEKS because she was too fat to get out of it?"), even poke crude fun at their tragic circumstances ("The girl is 26 and just had her eighth child---hasn't she figured out what causes that yet??").

    You have to be able to NOT take things seriously if you're going to keep your sanity while working in any health field, IMHO. And as long the de-stressing sessions are held far out of patients' and/or their families' earshot, I don't think it really harms anyone, and may indeed help.
  4. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from mjlrn97
    You have to be able to NOT take things seriously if you're going to keep your sanity while working in any health field, IMHO. And as long the de-stressing sessions are held far out of patients' and/or their families' earshot, I don't think it really harms anyone, and may indeed help.
    I couldn't agree with you more.

    Ever listen to policemen talk about their stories? You laugh until your face hurts. Sometimes it is funny and sometimes it isn't. But we laugh anyway, don't we? It's a coping method and nothing more.

    A dear friend of mine is a police officer and he mentioned his back pain. I asked him what it was from and he told me how he got his back injury. He got a call of a man not breathing. He raced to the scene (A local Dunkin Donuts, and no... I'm not kidding) and there was a very large man in the car not breathing. Randy was trying to get the man out of the car but his fat kept getting caught up on car parts and he couldn't pull the guy out. Finally, he reached under the mans stomach rolls and found his belt. He pulled the guy out of the car ripping the man's shirt, etc.

    He basically hurt himself trying to save the man after he was attempting to get his final jelly filled.

    One talked about when a prisoner poops or piddles everywhere, they don't want to put them in the car that way. Sometimes they call the fire department to hose them off a bit. Another alternative is to get a garbage bag, cut two leg holes and they put it on the prisoner like a big huge diaper. :chuckle
  5. by   nesher
    Total coping mechanism

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