From my point of view, Nurses Week and Hospital Week 2013 absolutely rocked! I had the good fortune to speak to the nursing staff at dozens of healthcare systems – always a thrill for me, because it’s a privilege to recognize, entertain and inspire the awesome nurses from coast to coast.
But how did Nurses Week look to other nurses around the country?
When I ask nurse managers and healthcare systems administrators what their biggest challenge is, the word ‘engagement’ comes up a lot: “We need nurses who are engaged, actively focused on the best in patient care – especially now that reimbursement rates are directly tied to patient satisfaction.” Nurses Week and Hospital Week celebrations are the time to recognize and celebrate the vital role nurses play (and hopefully inspire them to want to keep up their incredible performance!).
Are we doing a good job of letting nurses know how important they are?
Yes and no. When asked, many nurses are...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
I was on my way to speak to a group of diabetes educators at a regional hospital when I overheard two interns talking in the hallway. They were watching an elderly gentleman, who was moving slowly down the all, and trying to figure out exactly what the man's complaint might be.
“I’ll be you $5 he’s had a hemorrhoidectomy," one intern said.
The other intern did not agree. “No way. He’s suffering from arthritis.”
They both approached the man to inquire.
“Why are you moving so slowly, Sir?” asked one intern.
The old man replied, “My slippers are too large.”
Diabetes and the Family Caregiver
Being a caregiver - whether you're a health care professional or a family member or friend - can be challenging sometimes. We like to think we know what's going on. After all, we work hard about being a good caregiver. This is especially true for people who care for someone who has diabetes. Over the years, I've spoken with...
Generally, I don't have a hard time convincing people to add the healing power of humor to their diabetes management routine. Unlike diet and exercise, laughing is actually fun. (Yes, I know there are people who will tell you there's nothing more fun than an invigorating spin class. I am not one of those people.) Still, there are times when it seems like there's nothing in your life worth laughing about.
My friends, this is what yoga laughter was made for. I encourage you to check laughter yoga out. If you ever need to put a smile on your face in a hurry, try this simple exercise from What's So Funny About Diabetes?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Disease. It's one of my absolute favorites:
Start by smiling—then slowly begin to laugh with a gentle chuckle. Increase the intensity and volume of the laugh until you’ve achieved a hearty laugh. Then gradually bring the laugh back down to a smile again.
It sounds simple, right? Just try it. It's okay...
Humor is essential for effective diabetes management. Whether you have Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, or have been told you're pre-diabetic, you want to have humor in your routine, right along with testing your sugar and your morning workout. Consider your time laughing and playing as much a part of your diabetes management as counting carbs and making sure you have testing supplies. The British Psychological Society recently published an article looking at the way mothers and children play together. Play can accomplish some really important things. It is by playing that we develop our creative imagination and build the ability to solve complex and challenging problems. Additionally, play elevates the spirit and provides a joyful experience, critical for our ongoing emotional stability and well-being. But are all types of play equally beneficial? Does the type of play activity we engage in and the toys we use to play with impact the positive impact play can have in our life?...