This I Believe

Angela - Fort Wayne, Indiana
Entered on February 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in laughter and in having a great sense of humor and the power they possess especially in nursing. Laughter is a very powerful tool and is an essential coping strategy. A great sense of humor is essential in becoming a successful nurse.

Having a great sense of humor and laughing helps me keep my sanity especially since I’m going to nursing school and work in a hospital. So many times I get overwhelmed by the high intensity and demands of nursing but by keeping laughter as part of my daily routine, nothing is as bad as it seems. Patients go through a lot of different emotions while at the hospital, and nurses deal with a lot of different situations. Laughter helps lower the stress and it also helps relieve certain situations.

Certain situations that happen while working in a hospital can make for a good laugh. There have been plenty of times when patients have done or said things that have made me smile. I had a patient tell me a joke one night when I was working, “Where do waitresses with big boobs work…. Hooters. Where do waitresses with one leg work….IHop!” I couldn’t help but laugh at that joke. There have been plenty of situations at the hospital that have required me to have a great sense of humor. One night I was sitting for a patient who was extremely confused, I was talking to him while he lay in bed and he reached up behind me and smacked my butt. Talk about me being shocked! I politely informed him that was inappropriate. That situation required me to have a sense of humor; the patient wasn’t in the right state of mind and to take the personally would not have been beneficial. I had another interesting situation one night when I was working. I was working on a geriatric unit one evening and I was taking care of a gentleman. He was very agitated and confused, he got angry at me and decided to throw a chair at me and then chase me around a table to beat me up. Needless to say I was scared but now looking back at the situation I find it rather amusing. I have come to find out that you shouldn’t take anything a confused patient says or does personally.

I believe that humor and laughter are serious business and are medically necessary. Having a great sense of humor and being willing to laugh puts patients and nurses in better moods and it also allows for the patient to have a more enjoyable stay in a sometimes not so enjoyable hospital. It is very important to maintain a positive attitude about what we do everyday, especially in nursing.

A nurse at the beginning of the shift places her stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient’s anterior chest wall. “Big breaths,” instructed the nurse. “Yes, they used to be,” remorsed the patient.