Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Archive for August, 2010

The In ‘N Out Patient by Kris Harty

Wouldn’t you love to control when others talked and – more importantly – when they didn’t?

Let’s savor that idea for a moment, shall we?  Ahhh. Nice.

Did a few scenarios flitter across your mind just now?  Yep, mine too.

My mouth has always gotten me in trouble. It’s genetic. That’s what I’m going with, anyway. No doubt many people would love to have turned down my volume untold times over the decades.

A human remote controlled volume switch must be a universal longing.

For a few days in 2003, there was such a device. My friends still remind me of it. And then they smile, laugh, snicker, and seem to enjoy the idea far more than I really think they should.

There I was, lying in a hospital bed, tubes up the ying yang (umm, literally). I was brought up from surgery with the usual post-anesthesia haze. “Huhhhhhhh…..?”

Only this time, I couldn’t say ‘huh,’ or anything else, because a ventilator was blocking my ability to speak. Pretty sure my family and friends had a certain amount of happy going on right there.

While I healed for the next few days, the ventilator would need to stay in. And I would need to stay sedated so I wouldn’t pull it out, intentionally or unintentionally, in my drug-induced blissful little fog.

So here’s where my visitors got kind of excited. My nurses controlled when my blissful little cloud lifted and when it rolled over me again. Almost instantaneously. And from that, my visitors received miles of material and fun.

The IV bag held the magic elixir. The nurse merely flipped the switch to bring me to, and to shut me down again. Think marionette on a string.

When friends and family came to visit, so did my nurse. She’d make sure I was awake to enjoy my company for awhile. They’d gather around to watch the spectacle.

The switch was flipped. The eyes flew open. No time had passed.

Talk about a living Rip Van Winkle.

I completely lost track of time and days. But then again, clocks and calendars didn’t have a place in Van Winkledom. It was a good place, a peaceful place. Or at least I think it was.

I didn’t realize at the time what was happening. Everyone was happy and giggling when they saw me, so it seemed like a good thing.

“How’d you sleep, Kris?”  Chuckle, laugh, snort.

Funny that the nurse later on would always tell me to say good night. When she did, giggling ensued from my peanut gallery.

“Kris, tell your friends good bye for now. You’ll see them again soon.”

“Time for another milkshake, Kris.” Paul, Kelly and Jennifer teased. Apparently, the magic elixir in the IV bag looked like a milkshake. When it was ‘fed’ to me, it was lights out, instantly. Good night, Gracie.

One last fading chorus of “Hey, can we have one, too?”

Lights out, volume muted. Hand over the remote, and no one gets hurt.

Stickability Specialist Kris Harty helps healthcare teams persevere through Compassion Fatigue. Kris is Chief Inspiration Officer of Strong Spirit Unlimited. By sharing Stickabilities, or tools, she learned from her own medically challenging life requiring a Walking Stick, Kris encourages healthcare professionals to Stick to it – no matter what! Diagnosed at age seven with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, she draws on 40 years of insight, research and stories as a healthcare recipient. She is the patient who now returns to say “You make a difference. Thank you.” Her message is content-rich, practical, engaging and inspiring – and sporadically funny. Kris reduces burnout, turnover, and Compassion Fatigue by re-engaging healthcare professionals, particularly nurses. Kris Harty is an inspirational keynote speaker, author and small group facilitator who helps people overcome challenges by creating unstoppable momentum in life and work. Clients say her message is life changing. Call 877.711.STICK, e-mail, or visit

Posted in: The In 'N Out Patient

Leave a Comment (0) →

Get a Life by Loretta LaRoche

Over the last twenty years or so our culture has become besotted with the concept that happiness is contingent on having positive thoughts. The pursuit of this belief drives many people to think something is wrong with them. The irony is that this very belief creates even more unhappiness. Many of us have been acculturated since childhood to love happy endings.

Unfortunately, life often hands us lemons and we can’t always make lemonade out of them by simply thinking positive thoughts. In fact a certain degree of negativity allows for self reflection, allowing us to look at a problem from different perspectives.

A body of research focused on “defensive pessimism” has shown that we need pessimistic thoughts to navigate life in a balanced way. Many things we value bring a wide range of feelings.

You can have a wonderful partner, but unless he’s a robot, there will be times when he/she disappoints you, and conflicts will rise. All my happily ever thoughts did not stop me from getting divorced.

A job may bring great satisfaction, but inevitably something may happen, like pay cuts or termination. Good health can be disrupted by minor or major illnesses.

Repeatedly filling your head with positive thoughts and images may be a step in the right direction, but life is not that simple.

In fact trying to avoid unpleasant feelings often gives them more of a foothold. For example consider this analogy: “There’s a pink elephant standing in the middle of your room, but I don’t want you to think about him”. I would bet that you are having a hard time not conjuring up that elephant. I have discovered that whenever I struggle with something, it takes more of a foothold.

So does this mean that you should not attempt to engage in more positive types of thoughts and emotions? Absolutely not! But do consider making space for unpleasant feelings.

Become more aware of your thoughts and what you do about them. Becoming more “mindful” allows us to become more adept at using acceptance or action to solve our problems. A flexible mind gives us the opportunity to bounce back from life’s challenges. And that just might make us feel happier.

Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for the Patriot Ledger.

Posted in: Get A Life

Leave a Comment (0) →

Nurse 4 Sale by Paul C. Millard, RN, Etc


Older model Male. High mileage, full size model. Paint is fading from black to gray and falling off the top. Headlights out of focus, engine sometimes skips at idle, recent suspension work (ball joints). Stock sound system works fine. Frame is bent from motorcycle collision. Frequent foul exhaust, occasional backfire through the intake, small fluid leaks. Needs  fuel additives twice daily for best operation. Used daily. Ideal for someone who wants reliability but not worried about bling or latest gadgets. Denim upholstery easily upgraded if desired. Best offer takes it and associated spare parts (crutches, walker, cane, assorted extra upholstery many embroidered with names of previous owners). Will take best offer. No dealers. Call Paul at 555-geezer-boomer.

Posted in: Columns

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 2 of 10 12345...»