“What’s so funny?”
Exactly. As Kermit says, “it’s not easy being green,” I suspect he also knows it’s not easy being funny.
Sometimes the funny disappears at the most inconvenient times.
Where’s a good laugh when you need one? In the nursing profession, you encounter a lot of days when the funny disappears. You’re dealing with a lot of heavy stuff, patient-wise.
In addition, there’s all that other stuff to contend with during the day. Office politics, coworker issues, supervisor issues, administrative paperwork, and oh yea, let’s not forget good old fashioned burned out fatigue.
What’s a nurse to do?
We all know a little levity in a tense situation does all kinds of wonderful things physically for us – and our patients.
But we can’t simply pull humor out of our…um, hats, now can we? Or…can we?
While I can’t relate to being a nurse, I can relate to intentionally trying to find the funny. What? – you think it’s easy every week being funny for 500 words in a row? Or more accurately, attempting to be? Gulp. “Oh, the exertion” – she typed one-handed, the other hand wiping sweat off her brow.
Ok, so nursing and writing a column are not quite the same. Nonetheless, I’ve been struggling to come up with a laughable viewpoint on something medical this week; something, anything.
Hmmm. Patient gowns? Nope, only funny to the person exposed to unintentional exposure. Unexpectedly needing to produce a ‘sample’ on demand – after a visit to the ladies room? “I’ll need a six-pack – of anything – to go, please.” Colonoscopies? Don’t even go there.
Chats with friends and colleagues, and sometimes unobtrusive eavesdropping, take on a whole new bent. My hopes soar. “Maybe this conversation will inspire a column!”
Conversations get convoluted. “Oh, what’s that you said, my dear friend? You’re going in for surgery? Tell me, did your surgeon say anything funny about that?”
Yea, not the best route for a warm and fuzzy, kind and caring relationship.
I saw a clip today of a baby giggling hysterically. So much so that he fell over while sitting on the floor. Why? His dad handed him a piece of paper. As the baby grabbed onto it, the dad pulled back, tearing the paper in half. Gales of giggles. Aww, yes, if that was all it still took. Somewhere along the way, we lose our giggle box.
Mundane activities now play double duty. Grocery shopping and driving provide time for daydreaming funny topic possibilities.
I get as far as composing a few lines in my head, and then – poof – it’s gone. Or there’s one laugh out loud line that comes to mind, and I start doing just that: laughing out loud in the grocery store, by myself. For noooo apparent reason whatsoever. Curious stares bring me back to the task at hand. “Helloooo, earth to Kris.”
So I keep looking and listening, and asking odd insensitive questions of friends. Maybe I’ll place a Want Ad. Titled, of course: “What’s so funny?”
Holiday craziness taking its toll? Fed up, worn down, and burned out? You’re only weeks away from the antidote. Ok, maybe not THE antidote, but a darn good start to feeling better soon. Watch for Kris Harty’s upcoming book in early 2011: “StickPeople; Healthcare Pros Stick to It – No Matter What; How to Beat Burnout, Stop Stressing, and Combat Compassion Fatigue.” Her unique perspective and gratitude for healthcare providers inspires them to keep going. Kris helps healthcare teams, particularly nurses, combat Compassion Fatigue, while helping their managers reduce turnover. Her message is content-rich, relevant, engaging – and sporadically funny. She is a keynote speaker, author and small group facilitator. Kris Harty is the Stickabilities Specialist at Strong Spirit Unlimited. Clients say her message is life changing. If increasing employee engagement is on your agenda for 2011, book Kris now. Call 877.711.STIC(K), e-mail StrongSpirit@StrongSpiritUnlimited.com, or visit www.StrongSpiritUnlimited.com.