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Catching up with Karyn

Keeping Healthcare Healthy

We spend a lot of time in healthcare focused on patient outcomes, and that's how it should be. After all, we all got into this gig to help people cope with illness, injury, or incredibly bad luck. If we're not helping our patients out, we're doing it wrong.

But sometimes the focus on patient outcomes overshadows other important stories. Today I want to give a shout out to Outpatient Surgery, who shared a story detailing the fact that healthcare is anything but healthy for the people who work in it. If you're a physician, a nurse, a therapist, an aide, or otherwise involved in the front line delivery of healthcare, your chances of being injured or becoming ill on the job are more than 4 times higher than if you worked in manufacturing.

Isn't that an incredible statistic? I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. Then I remembered all of the slips, trips, falls, scrapes and yes, assaults from patients and disgruntled visitors, that I experienced or witnessed during my nursing...

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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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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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What's So Funny About Diabetes: How Humor Helps Caregivers

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...

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What's So Funny About Diabetes: Laughter Yoga

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:

Gradient Laughter

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...

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Diabetes Awareness Month: Making Time for Humor

As we celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month, I'd like to share a few thoughts on making time for humor. We all live extremely busy lives, balancing careers, families, social lives and managing our health care. Days go by at light speed. We're always on the go. One minute we're running here, the next we're going there, with a million things to do. Our to-do lists are six miles long, on average, and every item never gets crossed off. At this pace, entire days can go by when there's just no time to laugh. Those days add up, and before you know it, you're looking at weeks, even months, without humor.

Don't believe me? Ask yourself this. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? For most people, it's been a while. But as I explain in What's So Funny About Diabetes?, people with diabetes enjoy significantly better health when they laugh regularly and often. There are multiple ways humor helps us achieve effective diabetes management. Something as simple as laughing at your...

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What's So Funny About Diabetes: Diabetes Awareness Month Starts Today!

An anxious woman called her doctor. "I'm diabetic and I'm afraid I've had too much sugar today," she said.

"Are you light-headed? " the nurse asked.

"No," the caller answered, "I'm a brunette".

Are you ready? November 1st marks the beginning of Diabetes Awareness Month! For the next 30 days, we're going to be featuring jokes, cartoons, and all types of diabetes-themed  humor, designed to make you laugh.  Laughter has a vital role to play in your diabetes management. When you laugh, your body responds in many ways: lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, and minimizing post-meal blood sugar spikes.  Enjoying humor is lots of fun - and it can actually make you feel better!

Humor helps:

  • If you have Type 1 Diabetes
  • If you have Type 2 Diabetes
  • If you have Gestational Diabetes
  • If you don't have diabetes at all - but you love someone who does!

In What's So Funny About Diabetes?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Disease you can read about how humor can help...

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The Neurohumor Notebook: Getting Serious About Playtime

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?...

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