Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Archive for January, 2011

The JNJ Limerick Contest: The Winner!

We’re proud to announce the winner of the JNJ Limerick Contest. With more than 100 votes, the winning limerick is:

This patient’s a pain in the duodenum
With demands for both catheter and freedom.
So unable to cope
Nurse Bob swung his stethoscope,
Got her hypnotized larynx to be numb.

The use of duodenum – admittedly not the most commonly rhymed word in the world – cinched the victory for our Poet Laureate. She’ll be receiving an autographed copy of This Won’t Hurt a Bit: And Other Fractured Truths in Healthcare.

Want your own copy? Click here:

Posted in: Columns

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Nurse Marge in Charge

Dear  Nurse Marge,

Why are nurses so bad at taking care of themselves?  We KNOW everything there is to know about keeping healthy and yet so many nurses smoke and drink.  One of my co-workers is a very non-compliant diabetic: she fainted once at work two years ago and even now doesn’t eat the way she should.  It just blows my mind!


Common Sense

Dear Common Sense,

Why would people who:

  • spend most of their time caring for others
  • in an exhausting, demanding environment
  • where resources are scarce
  • support even rarer
  • who have the constant pressure of economic uncertainty hanging over their heads
  • schedules devised by “management professionals” throwing darts at the calendar at random
  • patients who expect miracle diagnosis and treatment all in thirty minutes or less

while balancing the needs of their family, partner, and pets sometimes fail to take less than ideal care of themselves?  I’ve no idea.

Do you know what comes right after common sense in the dictionary? Compassion.

Good Luck!

Nurse Marge

Posted in: Jokes

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The In ‘N Outpatient by Kris Harty

“How do you do it?”

How does anyone keep going through insurmountable difficulties? We’re talking the really big stuff. The stuff that can’t be fixed with chocolate (gasp) or a pitcher of margaritas or a box of tissues and a friend’s slobbered-on shoulder. We’re talking the ‘I don’t think I could ever get through it and I have no clue how they do’ type of situation.

Many of you have been in that trench. For my friends in healthcare, you’re in the front row seat and sidecar of other people’s unimaginable lives much more often than the rest of us.

It’s not easy being the observer, either.

News reports from the last two weeks play around and around in my head, like a hamster on a wheel. I don’t know that my thinking is getting me anywhere, but that lil’ hamster is smoking up the place.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly is a marvel. How does he keep rollin’?

He notices and applauds those who have a hand in his wife’s recovery. He repeatedly mentions Gabby’s professional caregivers, specifically her nurses. “I also want to thank her…ICU nurses that have attended to her around the clock.”

Seriously, would we blame him if he was a might too distracted to notice or show gratitude? Uh, hello.

One of those nurses, Tracy Colbert, noticed, in addition to her patient’s vital signs, her patient’s humanness. “She is a very gentle person. Her personality is coming out with her touches…the way she looks at us. I’m very lucky to know her.”

And Gabby herself. How does she silently inspire?

Mark Kelly, Tracy Colbert, and Gabby know the secret to moving through the impossible. Mark summed it up in talking about the people who have made a difference.

“The love and support that we have received is a bit overwhelming… But we are very appreciative. And I want to apologize for all of those folks that have done so much for us that we haven’t recognized yet. I know one of the first things Gabby is going to want to do as soon as she is able to is start writing “thank you” notes, and I have already reminded her of that.”

There’s a sweet absurd comicalness in thinking of the seriously injured person – and her loved one – feeling the need to write thank you notes, and apologizing for their delay. And yet, it shows the depths of gratitude toward others that transcends the trauma. Gratitude for those who help us get through the mess weighs more than the help itself.

If we can find a tiny dose of funny, a micro-spec of humor that makes the corners of our mouths turn up unexpectedly, that’s when we’re often at our most resilient. We need that laugh, however small, in the midst of really big seriousness. We’re grateful for the break in the somber scene, and grateful to those who provide it, however they do it.

Be someone’s needed mouth-corner-turner-upper today, for Gabby, won’t you?


Who helped you through 2010? In 2011, who will you help Stick To It – No Matter What? Kris Harty’s upcoming book celebrates nurses as the StickPeople they are. Her patient’s perspective is educational, inspirational, and full of reminders for nurses, new and lifelong. Kris helps student nurses continue to persevere through their studies, educates newer nurses on easy ways they can positively impact patient care, and reminds veteran nurses of what they already know but may have forgotten during overwhelming workdays. Kris is the Thought Leader on People Helping People Persevere. She leads the conversation through writing, speaking, coaching, and small group discussions. A 40-year veteran of the medical industry – on the receiving end, Kris Harty is the Stickabilities Specialist at Strong Spirit Unlimited. If you’re looking for an effortless and meaningful way to lead your staff toward continued quality caregiving, contact Kris. Call 877.711.STIC(K), email, or visit

Posted in: The In 'N Out Patient

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Limerick Contest Week Three!

It’s the third week of our Limerick Contest! All this month, we’re soliciting limericks from our readership (and free range poets!) in a competition to see if we can find the best Medical Limerick EVER.

Here are the top three entries we’ve received this week. Make sure to vote for your favorite by leaving a comment sharing which one you thought was best. At the end of the month, we’ll be having a final vote to select the best of all the winning limericks! The winner receives an autographed copy of “This Won’t Hurt A Bit!” and fame and glory!

Without further ado:

Limerick A:

Four A.M. is a bad time to be calling
And Doc, I can tell that you’re stalling
But the patient who’s strictly NPO
Just ate an onion burrito
And the fumes have all the staff bawling!

Limerick B:

On this unit, they say we’re a team
That’s either a hallucination or a dream
Whenever there’s a Code Brown
Nurses head out of town
Staff cohesion is not what it may seem!

Limerick C:

I understand that your scraped knee
Is indeed a catastrophe
You’ve surely been cursed
With pain levels 12+ – “The Worst!”
Right after this Code we’ll be with you promptly!

Do You Have Poetry In Your Soul? ENTER THE CONTEST!

Here’s what you need to do:

Write a humorous limerick related to the world of nursing and patient care and send it to Each week throughout January, we’ll be posting the best ones we receive and letting our readers vote for the best. All of the winning limericks will then be posted on January 31st, and readers will be able to each pick their favorite. The author who wrote the limerick that receives the most votes wins an autographed copy of Karyn Buxman’s This Won’t Hurt A Bit! And Other Fractured Truths in Healthcare and more importantly, fame and glory unmatched by any other honor available in the world of medical poetry today!

Don’t forget to vote! Leave a comment indicating which of the limericks are your favorite. Comments are being collected and tallied to select the winners!

Posted in: Columns

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