Catching up with Karyn

My "BIGGAS" Savings

Truth is, I don't watch TV much. Mostly it's bad for your health. And honestly most of us don't watch TV as much as we let it drone on in the background until something manages to cut through the clatter.

My stress level begins to climb after just a few minutes of listening to Natalie Morales telling me about the war raging in (name-your-location-here), or Norah O'Donnell telling me about the effects of global warming, or Jean Chatsky telling me I've invested poorly and am going to have to let my favorite child pick out my nursing home. I'll admit it, my chest feels a little tighter, my anxiety is a little higher, and I'm wondering if a glass of Merlot for breakfast would count as a fruit on my Weight Watcher points.

But yesterday something different cut through the clatter. I'm thinking, "Did I hear that right?!"  I stopped what I was doing and looked up. The commercial for Kmart’s gas savings was quick—and by the time I got to where I could see the TV, the ad was...

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What's So Funny About Oncology Nursing?

Some of my favorite people in the world are oncology nurses. If you ever want to meet a group of smart, skilled, and passionate health care providers, look to the oncology nurses. They’re there day in and day out on the front lines, providing exceptional care and essential emotional support, to people with cancer. And if you ever want to meet a group of nurses who know the value of a well-timed laugh – oncology nurses can help you with that as well.

Faced with the stark and bleak side of health care, oncology nurses have a finely tuned appreciation for the silly and bizarre. To this day, I remember the reaction of the oncology nurse who was treating my college-aged son David when he introduced one of his best buds as Tonto.

“If he’s Tonto,” the nurse asked Adam, “then who are you?”

With a great big grin, my son rubbed his balding head and announced, “I’m his Chemo-sabi!”

Sometimes those laughs come exactly when you need...

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A Great Gift For Nurses Week: Humor For Nurses!

Happy Nurses Week!

I hope you've been having the best Nurses' Week ever. It's been great to see a really healthy amount of humor as part of Nurses Week celebrations this year. Some of the best stuff I've seen has been on SomeeCards - go check it out, and if you see one that would make your favorite nurse laugh right out loud, send it to them. It's free, and the gift of humor is one that will make your friend happier and healthier.

It's hard to pick a favorite, but I have to admit to liking, "Happy Nurses Week to all the nurses with friends too cheap to go to the doctor!" Raise your hand if you know more about your closest friend's gastrointestinal system than you ever hoped to. And people are really willing to stretch the definition of friend when they need medical advice...if they went to the same high school you did, t(*cough*) years ago and haven't seen each other since, that's a close enough connection to solicit your opinion of their small bowel resection!

As nurses, using...

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Happy Nurses Week!

Happy Nurses Week!

If you've ever cleared out an entire Pizza Hut just by talking shop with your co-workers, this week is for you!

If you've ever complimented a stranger on their lovely veins (or merely ogled from afar!) this week is for you!

If you've ever proven your ability C-diff at a distance, using only your nose, this week is for you!

If you've ever defined 'medication error' as "I should have taken the Ativan myself!" this week is for you!

If you've ever had your scrubs seized by the CDC as the most terrifying thing they've ever seen, this week is for you!

Nurses are amazing people, and this is the week we celebrate our profession. Whether you're a nurse in the hospital setting, health clinic, school, nursing home or long term care setting, corrections facility, military, or beyond, the fact is that you're the front lines of health care in this country. You are the number one source of caring, compassionate patient care. The work you do makes a real difference in the lives...

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Need a Great Gift for Nurse's Week?

Nurses who laugh are happier people.

Nurses who laugh are healthier people.

Nurses who laugh are better nurses.

But what's so funny about nursing?

This year, Nurse's Week is May 6-12.  Just in the nick of time, Karyn Buxman has released the latest volume in the side-splitting What's So Funny book series: What's So Funny About... Nursing?: A Creative Approach to Celebrating Your Profession .

Here's an excerpt, discussing how humor can make you healthier:

When was the last time you heard that watching TV could actually make you healthier?! Another way you
can really give your heart a boost is by playing the ICU Game: Any time you see an error on a medical TV show (Nurse Jackie and Grey’s Anatomy are GREAT for this!) that would result in the patient spending the rest of his short, short life in the ICU, get up and do 25 jumping jacks. You could have the heart of an Olympian in less than one season!

Fun, funny, and packed with practical information to bring the healing power...

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Karyn's On The January Jones Show!

That's where you'll find me -Karyn Buxman, RN, neurohumorist, and author of What's So Funny About... Heart Disease?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Condition- sharing the latest research on humor and healing for the person who has heart disease.

Did you know that laughing for half an hour a day can reduce your bad cholesterol by up to 66%? When you have heart disease, cholesterol control is job number one. Enjoying humor doesn't replace conventional treatment or prescription medications - but it's a fun, free and effective way to make successfully managing your heart disease easier.

Listen to the January Jones interview here! If you like what you hear, don't forget to tell your friends about it on Facebook and Twitter. Sharing laughter is one way we can improve everybody's heart health!

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What's So Funny About OR Nursing?

We'd been called in for an emergency bowel obstruction. Our scrub nurse had some bad gas - don't ever trust the cafeteria's tacos! In the  middle of the procedure, the surgeon starts freaking out. "I nicked the bowel! Don't you smell that?"  He ran the bowel over and over before he was finally satisfied that it was intact, and he closed. Afterward, when I talked to the scrub nurse about it, she said, "What was I going to do - tell him I farted?!"

OR Nurses: this bookis for you! I count the years I spent as an OR nurse as some of the finest (and funniest!) of my career. Talk about the tight bond between nurses! I learned true caring, compassion, and grace-under-pressure from my colleagues behind those double doors.

There were also lots of laughs - and thank goodness for that. Laughter provides the emotional resiliency we need to operate at the top of our game in the high-stress, high-pressure OR environment. Nurses who laugh regularly enjoy considerable physical and mental...

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Using Humor To Build Your Business: Signs That Make You Smile

I'll admit it - when I first saw this restaurant sign featured in the Huffington Post, I laughed out loud. Chances are you did too!

Now imagine what your reaction would have been if, instead of encountering this sign on the internet, you saw it while you were driving through your neighborhood. It's still funny - and the fact that the restaurant shared a funny sign might just be enough to motivate you to turn in and have a taco (even though they're not free!)

Humor is Power: Building Your Business

Businesses that offer their customers a way to laugh gain a significant competitive advantage. Humor is disruptive. It attracts our attention and makes us change the way we think.  The Mexican restaurant advertising “Free Tacos – Yesterday Only!” will make us laugh, but they’re also planting that seed reminding us how much we like tacos. Couple that with the powerful emotional associations people have with humor, and you’ve got circumstances that...

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Four Websites That Made Me Laugh Out Loud This Week

Build The Humor Habit!

Are you looking for ways to add more humor to your life? You should be! Laughter has tremendous benefits for our physical well-being, emotional resiliency, and social connections. Humor is power! When we laugh, we gain both a broader perspective on the world and a strengthened sense of being in control of our life.

It's a great idea to laugh every single day! Here are four websites that made me laugh out loud this week:

Nurse Quotes & Pics This Pinterest Board collects images and sayings hysterical for nurses and others working on the front lines of patient care

The Onion Satire and parody based on today's headlines

xkcd A smart and funny webcomic - scroll over the comics to see hidden text that can make the gag even funnier.

ebaum's world Short funny videos you'll want to share with your friends.

What are your favorite humor websites?

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When Funny Turns Fatal: Are Pranks Healthy Humor?

humor is power stress Dec 13, 2012

Humor is a powerful force. For more than 20 years, I've been researching, teaching, and speaking to groups about the ways they can use humor to lower stress, live healthier lives, be more productive in the workplace and happier at home. That's why I was absolutely heartbroken to learn that Jacintha Saldanha, a British nurse, took her own life after being duped by a radio DJ's prank.

This tragic incident reinforces the fact that humor is power. We all have a responsibility to understand how our humor impacts others.  Pranks are a particularly problematic type of humor, as their entire humor value comes from someone else's pain and discomfort. Their fear, upset, or injury has become our source of amusement.

That's not healthy for us individually, and it's not healthy for us as a society. I've been very encouraged to see the discussions centering around the role of pranks in our media and culture. At a time when the problem of bullying is receiving so much attention, let's call...

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