Survey: Do you use humor to help put your patients at ease? - page 2

This months survey Question... Do you use humor to help put your patients at ease? Here are the results from this survey out of 1742 respondents: 3.59% - No 96.41% - Yes We encourage your... Read More

  1. by   ikimiwi
    I do use humor alot in the ED most recently, a male meighbor of mine came in and was having a MI, he was so scared , he was stiff and afraid to move. After the EGk a nother nurse and I were removing his pants........he was so scared........only 50. I said, "bet when you moved in you never thought I would be standing over you ripping your pants off?" His whole body just melted, and laughed and relaxed....the cardiologist looked at me funny though,......he did do great, had retaplase, and is home doing fine.
  2. by   sWolfie
    I most diffently us humor alot. My latest thing is when it is time to get a resident ready for a shower, I bring extra gloves with me, I then excuse myself for a moment telling them I need to get something like a towel or another rag....I come back in with a glove over my head and gloves over my ears, how I hate to get water in my ears. They seem to take their shower laughing and with ease. They always ask the other nurses who will be giving their showers. I also have my head shaved so the residents like rubbing the stubbles....I offer to bring in my clippers and do theirs free of charge...but for some odd reason they don't want it done.
  3. by   TLynn
    I found when I worked any where and had to deal with both family and patients, using humor with both eases the pain of patients and the stress and worry of the family. I had the one patient whose sister sat beside her day in and day out, most thought the sister was picky and a pain, not to me. I began joking with her, I'd come in put on a rubber glove "Pop" it in place smile and say who's next. Then we'd get the shower bed, myself and my team of aides and say it's time for your shower. Or pick up a clipboard and say well Mrs. so and so your room is ready, then the med aide would come in and ask if she was ready for her enema. She laughed so hard she had tears in her eyes. After that she was easy going and looked for us for teasing. Humor is the best medication available without a RX.
  4. by   duckie
    I think humor is often the best medicine for those who are suffering or that have changes beyond their control occurring and need someone to help them adjust. As far as nurses using humor, if we didn't, I think what we must witness on a daily basis would surely drive us insane. How can you deal with death and suffering on a daily basis and not be affected without an outlet. I have worked on the same unit for nearly six years, so I have had nearly a 100% turnover in my residents. I have witnessed more deaths than I can count, I have watched more suffering and mourning than I want to remember. BUT everyday I try to relieve the daily rountine by making my residents laugh. I have one in particular resident that loves to hear the daily happenings of my "3 furry daughters" and he and his spouse laugh uncontrollably when I tell them what the girls have been up to. I have one that loves to hear the "funny little voice" I use to talk for my critters. You just seek out what works with each resident and go with it. And there are some that don't like humor, so you just go with the flow and look for what makes them happy. I need to laugh to survive. I often watch funny movies on my days off, just to forget and relieve my inner stress. Laughter does ease pain and stress and while it cannot cure the ailment, it can reduce the symptoms and improve quality of life. And ultimately, that's what we are all trying to do. Speaking of funny movies....if you want to laugh your backside off, see "What Woman Want" with Mel Gibson. I thought I would die laughing!!!!
  5. by   CEN35
    Sure we all use humor to an extent. Unfortunatly, it's very situational......used at the wrong time, could be devistating to a family member and/or the patient.
    We use humor among ourselves in the ER. Unfortunatly now and then, we get a green person who thinks we are idiots. Sometimes even a family member or patient. it akes time for anybody to realize, that with certain jobs, if everything was taken serious/personally we would all be burned out!!!

    [ May 17, 2001: Message edited by: CEN35 ]
  6. by   Overland1
    Originally posted by buckboomer:
    <STRONG>Yes, And often my colleagues seem to resent it.</STRONG>
    You are correct - many nurses do resent the use of humor by other nurses. These angst-ridden, hand-wringing souls are definitely wound too tightly. Granted, there is a time for humor and a time to be serious, and most of know the difference.

    I get a kick out of those who, when humor is used, will exclaim, "that's not 'appropriate'!" The 'nursey' word 'appropriate' is much over-used (and abused); it should be banned from the lexicon.

    As Dr. William Bennett has often advised, "be of good cheer."
  7. by   kennedyj
    Sometimes I think im the strangest one around. No one else jokes or has fun with there patients. I think it also must be balanced with knowledge and apt nursing care. Humor is definately the best!

  8. by   Brownms46
    No matter what area I work in, I use humor to help my pts., and their families relax. I have rarely had someone not enjoy it. Fortunately most of the time, I have usually worked with people who also enjoy a good joke, and a good laugh.

    Once I was in a clinic, and the Doc I was working with, was a total character also. We had a lady who was having migraine headaches. She came in very sullen, and depressed. Not saying we cured her, but when she left, she said her H/A was gone, and she loved her visit! She said she had never laughed so much before. She was smiling from ear to ear, and was sorry to hear, that he was a locum, and I was agency.

    I sing at work, while giving care to pts, especially if they have a radio on. I have one pt., who has end stage MS. He can't talk or move on his own, and communicates by using his eyes, and facial expressions. He loves being told jokes! The nurses where I work, and I love to go in, and try to get him to smile!

    I floated to a Spinal Cord unit, and had a pt, who had been confined to the bed for nine months! We would trade jokes, and have a great time while I gave him his care. In fact we would have the whole room of 4 pts. laughing. He now send me jokes via email..:-).

    There are times when I'm deadly serious, but when I don't have to be, I'm not! I totally believe, that laughter IS the best medicine!

  9. by   Irish Seasoning
    I have had one complaint from a patient in all my 20++ years of nursing and that was -"She smiles too much!" My sup. called me into his office and with a very serious look on his face, told me that I had had a grave complaint lodged by a patient. As I sat there VERY worried he gave me a great big grin and told me that he just loved to handle this kind of c/o and gave me his sincere thankyou and encouraged me to keep up the good work! I have, but tempered with some new found wisdom that not ALL patients are open to laughter, humor or even happiness. Although that was many years ago, I still get more back from the pts. I have cared for if I smile and joke with them. I now work Hospice and even here (often ESPECIALLY here) these pts. respond to humor and a smile--even in the final stages!
  10. by   ladybyrd
    When I was a Rehab nurse, the evening shift was in charge of the bowel programs and showers...We would put the patinet in the shower chair, gave them their suppository, push the shower chair over the toilet, let them make a deposit, then give them a shower...

    I had a 60 year old male patient who was on the board of directors at the local university.

    Unfortunately, his CVA had taken his balance impaired so that when sitting in his wheelchair, he usually was falling over to one side & unable to get himself upright. His swallowing was impaired to the point of not being able to swallow his oral he drooled severly!

    The speech therapist (who thought she was infallable) said she had done extensive testing and that because he both receptive and expressive aphasia, his prognosis was very poor.

    One evening, I found his suppository would not insert easily, so I checked him for the dreaded impaction. Finding one,I began to manually remove it...Picture this: him sitting in the shower chair, bent over and drooling and me bent over with my gloved finger stuck up his rectum....

    Realizing how rediculious this must look, I looked up at him and said..."betcha didnt know that I went to college to learn how to do this!!"

    He began laughing so hard I thought he was going to fall out of the shower chair...I began crying tears of joy because I realized that he COULD understand what I said!!!

    Of course, the next day, ONLY the nurses truely appreciated the story of how I proved that the speech therapist "didnt know ****!"
  11. by   BambyRN
    I always use humor in the hospital. There are those that just don't get it. My patients love it. I have yet to have a patient get upset with my humor. I do know when not to use it. My patients tell all the time how much they appreciate my smile, my laughter, and my sense of humor. I've gotten in trouble many times for my laughter, but it doesn't bother me as long as it doesn't bother my patients. Humor is a part of the healing process.
  12. by   ray2512
    Yes. When I started as a Hospice nurse 12 years ago I thought that maybe I should leave my humor on the shelf and be more serious. Well, that just wasn't me. I started being myself and found that humor at the bedside was a very useful tool in lifting the spirits of my clients. They just love it!
  13. by   bethin
    I use humor whenever it's appropriate. When we get an admit I'll go back to their room and apologize that we could not upgrade their room to an oceanview. This gets alot of laughs as our rooms face trees or where deliverys are dropped off. Also, at the end of a 12hr shift, I tend to get a little slap happy. They usually end up laughing harder than me.