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Laughin’ to keep from cryin’: How humor keeps nurses sane

Thinkstock | iStock

Thinkstock | iStock

“If you don’t have a sense of humor, you’ll never survive this line of work.”

It’s hard to think of a more true description of a nursing career, and we wanted to know how you incorporate that humor into your own day-to-day activities.

We turned to our Funny Nurses Facebook page and asked you and your fellow nurses how you include humor in your work life. As you’d expect, we got some great answers!

Check out some of the ones that made us smile, and then add your own stories in the comments below!

“Nursing is one of those professions where you have to laugh and have a sense of humor or else you won’t make it!!!”
– Laurie Martin Hill

“I had an older gentleman that took his son’s bullmastiff for a walk and got knocked down. Pretty bad, fractured hip and all bruised up. His son was pretty upset. ER notes said the dog’s name was Bella. I finished my assessment and said, ‘So I understand you got beat up by a girl?’ He blinked at me, ‘My son’s dog, she’s a big one.’ I replied, ‘No wonder she beat you up…you never call a girl big!!!’ He laughed. His family laughed. It took the tension right out of the room.”

– Jodi Miller

“I love doing the strength assessment. ‘Can you grip my hands?! Ok, now press your hands down on mine, now press up on my hands. Ok, now pull my finger…’ LOL they look at me like, what? And I go…’Aahh, gotcha!’ The men laugh a lot at that one.”
– Cindy Starnes

“I had an elderly patient years ago that loved to pat my ‘baby bump’ (I was about seven months pregnant with my youngest daughter). One day she asked me, ‘Do you have any other children?’ I told her yes, I had a 7-year-old daughter. She said, ‘Oh, my! You waited a long time between babies!’ I replied, ‘No, I waited a long time between husbands!’ She laughed so much I had to turn her O2 up a liter! After that, she’d tell anyone in the room about it whenever I came in. She was such a doll!”
– Christy Dillon Goerbig

“How often have we gone for a night out, ended up at a restaurant and talking about events at work only to notice people on another table now looking decidedly queasy!”
– Nick Peters

“No wonder everyone think I am crazy, because I make fun of everything in my life. Being a nurse for 40 years has taught me well. It is rewarding to see smiles on people’s faces.”
– Irma Gosine

“I’m an Alzheimer’s nurse, which can be heartbreaking if you can’t see the humor. I love all my patients but they are an endless source of entertainment as well!”
– Debra Hyden Hayes Godby

“I asked a stage 4 cancer patient if he wanted his IV fluids shaken or stirred, or if he wanted the bag with salt on the rim. He went from being teary-eyed to laughing. That’s when I really love being a nurse.”
– Mary Doss

“I worked for the local non-profit hospice for 22 years.The general public would have committed us all to the looney bin if they had heard any one of our team meetings. Humor kept us sane!!!”
– Bonnie Kick

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3 Responses to Laughin’ to keep from cryin’: How humor keeps nurses sane

  1. Nurse1965

    When I have an opportunity to bladder scan a male patient, I never forget to ask them if they ever had a hysterectomy.. The smiles I receive are priceless. Makes their day and mine..

    • ksokia

      I also tease my male patients when I bladder scan them and say “good news!! You’re not pregnant”. Always makes them laugh.

  2. cheyenne

    I have 2 sets of betty boop scrubs. I use to care for this little lady who was a spit fire. I would go in to wake her up, she would be mean and ornery. Then she would look to see what I had on. If it was either of the betty boops she would tell me ” if I had that top and you had a feather up your ass we would both be tickled” I laughed so hard the first time she said it I though I was gonna pee my pants. Her other favorite thing to say when we would ask her if she was ready to get up was ” well ill be damned if I do and damned if I don’t. And you girls will keep coming back, so saddle up my chair and lets all be damned”. I absolutely loved her, I always tried to be assigned her hall.

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