Want to use more humor to celebrate National Humor Month? Here’s the top ten things you need to know about humor in the workplace, whether you’re working in a hospital, a long term care facility, a school, or any of the other places nurses call ‘the office’.
1. Humor is in the eye of the beholder. Set boundaries of what is appropriate and what is not, because what some people find humorous, others will find offensive. Parameters of acceptable behaviors can be in the form of official written policies, but you want to be aware of your colleague’s verbal and non verbal communications. If you’re in a supervisory position, don’t forget to model the appropriate use of humor.
2. Keep it clean and kind. Therapeutic humor is humor that lifts the spirit and creates positive feelings. Avoid hurtful, embarrassing humor — if you’re the one who just went sliding through a spill of unidentified green goop, it’s okay to laugh. But if another nurse does it? You might want to see how she’s reacting, first. (more…)
The Journal of Nursing Jocularity is proud to announce our first inductee into our Hall of Fame: Vera M. Robinson!
The JNJ Hall of Fame honors those brave souls who have made extensive, meaningful contributions to the world of therapeutic humor. It’s only fitting that we give our first spot (and a big Thumbs Up!) to Vera Robinson, an absolute pioneer in the field.
Vera’s 1977 book, Humor and the Healing Professions, has been a handbook not only for me but for anyone who believes that laugher really is the best medicine; that laughing with our patients helps them and us, and that solid science supports what the proverb says: A merry heart is truly a healthy heart! (more…)
“Almost Home: Embracing the Magical Connection Between Positive Humor & Spirituality” is the autobiographical journey of Jacki Kwan as she learns to bring laughter into her own life as well as the lives of others. In the text Jacki shows how she has learned to use laughter to help heal (physically as well as emotionally) and inspire. It is consistently clear throughout the text that she encourages the use of positive humor to connect to your deeper spiritual self as well as to help others connect with themselves.
Jacki works with a theraputic humor program and has helped create such programs at various locations. If you are interested in using humor for therapy the appendices contain useful information and resources.
A Curious Side Note about “Evidence”
This month’s column is, admittedly, not focused on humor. Sorry about that, but I had a conversation recently that I just have to share as I scratch my head in disbelief. My conversation was with a nurse-friend who was telling me the realities of her days on the floor of the hospital where she works. As is probably normal for most nurses, she had to be prepared to hit the ground running from the first second on duty to whatever time she was able to leave (she often covers double shifts because, as a per diem nurse, she can use the extra money).
She knows I’ve been working on nursing education transformation with Dr. Jan Boller, an associate professor and director of nursing leadership programs in the College of Graduate Nursing at Western University’s College of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. My friend and I began talking about “evidence-based” nursing care. Her comment to me startled me and has been on my mind ever since.
She said, surprisingly defensively, “When I have a patient that needs [some kind of care procedure], am I supposed to run to the staff lounge and look up how to do the procedure properly? I don’t have time to find the evidence for what I’m doing.”
Hmmmmm. Is this a typical interpretation? (more…)
David Granirer wears many hats. Counselor, comic, author, speaker, and a funny, funny guy, he is also the driving force behind Stand Up for Mental Health, an innovative program that is truly therapeutic humor in action. We’re thrilled to have David join us for this conversation!
JNJ: For those who are not already familiar with your work, can you give us a little background about what you do?
David: My project, Stand Up for Mental Health, teaches standup comedy to people with mental illness. We’ve been doing this since 2004, helping people build confidence and fight the stigma of mental illness.
In my own background, I’m a counselor and a stand up comic. I also have mental illness, I have depression, which in a way makes me the perfect person to do this work! (more…)