Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Journal of Nursing Jocularity

Archive for January, 2011

Fore-gone Conclusion!

1204428_the_shotOne of the gentlemen who visits the Day Center where I work came in looking absolutely despondent one morning.  “Joe,” I asked him, “What’s wrong?”

“Every morning since I retired I’ve gone out and played a round of golf,” Joe said.  “If the course was open, I was there.  But this morning?”  He shook his head.  “I’ve got to own up to it.  My eyesight just isn’t what it used to be. I hit the ball, and I just can’t see where it goes.”

“Why don’t you take Murray with you?” I asked.  Murray was our ‘Early Bird’ and I knew he’d be up for an outing first thing in the morning.

“Are you kidding?” Joe asked.  “Murray’s never played golf in his life!”

“He doesn’t need to know how to play golf,” I assured him.  “If all you need is someone to help you find the ball, he’ll do a great job, and you guys will have fun.”

Joe and Murray talk, and it’s all agreed that Murray will go golfing with Joe the next morning.  I left work that day feeling really good about the whole thing: one of my favorite clients was going to be able to continue a favorite activity.

The next day, though, Joe wasn’t so happy.

“What happened?” I asked him.  “I thought Murray was going to go golfing with you.”

“He did,” Joe replied.

“So why the long face?” I asked.

“We got out there to the golf course, and I hit the ball.  Murray was right there with me, and after, I asked him, ‘Murray, did you see me hit that ball?’

And Murray said ‘Of course I did! I have great eyesight!’

‘So which way did it go?’ I asked him.

‘You know, I can’t remember!'”

Luckily, we had another client who likes to golf, and she volunteered to play a few days each week with Joe!

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Nurse Marge in Charge

Dear Nurse Marge,

I’m a new RN, and have been working on my unit for just over a month. Yesterday, I had a patient call out to me from the waiting room that he was having a seizure. I found him, twisting and jerking uncontrollably – and carefully using his feet to push himself away from the wall whenever he got too close to hitting his head against it.

It was very strange: when I looked directly at the patient, his tremors worsened. When I wasn’t right there, watching him, the situation improved: he was able to speak to his friends about what was going on!

The whole thing seemed weird, so I got help from one of the nurses who’s been really great about helping me out. He came out, gave the guy a look, said, “All right now. That’s enough of that.” and the patient’s seizure stopped. I asked him how he knew, and he said it comes with experience.

What else would an experienced nurse do in that situation?


Novice Needs To Know!

Dear Novice,

What would an experienced nurse do? Pretty much what your colleague did. What would an experienced nurse WANT to do? That’s another question.

I’ve always been fond of applause, myself. Faux seizures make me want to put my hands together and clap! Great performances should be appreciated!

Another way to handle this requires coordinating with some of your colleagues. Write numbers on blank papers and hold them up: give them a score! Of course, this means someone has to be the Russian judge…and never award more than a 3 or 4.

The drawback to this method is that it encourages people to try for their personal best! When Ativan and Diluadid are the gold and silver medals in the ER olympics, the competition can get fierce!

Good Luck!

Nurse Marge

Posted in: Jokes

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Limerick Contest Week Two!

It’s the second 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:

Nurse Nathan’s adroitness is stellar
when he wrestles a sticking umbrella.
Yet on a dance floor
He howls out, “No more!
This is killing my tricky patella!”

Limerick B:

A patient I had in Alberquerqe
claimed an allergy to cold turkey
A slice on his plate
Would make his stomach gyrate
And his movements grow terribly jerky!

Limerick C:

I once had a patient named Perkins
who adored eating pickles and gherkins
She found them so nice
Adored all their spice
and pickled her internal workin’s

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 may take a while to appear so please only vote once!)

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The In ‘N Outpatient by Kris Harty

“Wait! It’s not about weight.”

The headline glared at me, proclaiming this week as National Healthy Weight Week. Not another article on weight! But hang on; maybe it wasn’t the typical article. Hallelujah and pass the pumpkin pie!

Still, I couldn’t bring myself to read the whole thing. My ‘ugh’ repellant was working overtime. Nonetheless, I got the gist of the message, or a message, anyway; here’s my two-bit take.

Assuming no medical issues, our issues with weight are seldom about weight. My healthcare friends know that more than anyone.

We see much more in our own mirrors than is visible to anyone else. Our eyes have magic powers coveted by super heroes. When our eyes look in a full-length mirror, they see the past much more than the present.

Those eyes see the underweight kid and the overweight kid, teased and nicknamed by their peers. They see the young adult, sitting at home on a Friday night, because their body shape or height didn’t match what others heard was attractive.

Those images are ones that often stay with us throughout our lives, even though our bodies may have outgrown them long ago. Our minds don’t always. And if we were a healthy weight as a kid, we sometimes acquire new issues, images, and weight as an adult.

Our issues with weight, more often than not, cover up bigger, deeper image problems – problems far more painful than whatever number the scale shows. Sadly, it’s easier and safer to talk about weight.

I’m fortunate; I’ve never been to the extremes, although I’ve slid up and down the doughnut scale a bite, I mean, a bit. A few doughnuts on a frame that’s 4’6” has a way of quickly changing its overall…um, dimensions.

So when I read the headline about National Healthy Weight Week, it got me thinking. Scary, I know.

National Healthy Weight Week isn’t necessarily about getting ourselves to a healthy weight. It’s about getting ourselves to a mentally healthy place to either accept or change our weight – for all the right, healthy reasons.

A healthy weight isn’t about our physical state as much as it is about our mental state. Most of all, whatever our weight is, we need to be comfortable with it in a mentally healthy way.

As women, we especially struggle to maintain a healthy, realistic view of our physical selves. So much is tied up in our appearance. That’s a column for another day – or a whole month or year. But maybe that’s why one of the days this week is designated specifically for women. January 22 is National Women’s Healthy Weight Day.

And today, Jan. 17, is Martin Luther King Day. He had a dream. I have a dream; many of them, in fact. This week’s dream is for all of us to put down our forks, pick up our mirrors, and accept ourselves – and each other – for the fabulous folks we are, regardless of the outer packaging. Wait no longer.


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 a 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 excellent caregiving, contact Kris. Call 877.711.STIC(K), email, or visit

Posted in: The In 'N Out Patient

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