As a nurse for over 35 years it has come to my attention how vital it is to care for ourselves. And as the demands on the nurse “in the trenches” grows, it is crucial that we find healthy ways to strengthen our inner resources and still maintain our sense of humor.
My background includes CNA work on a neuro surgery unit in upstate New York. There I learned basic bedside nursing from some dedicated and fun loving nurses.
From their encouragement I decided to try my hand at nursing school. After pursuing different areas of nursing, everything except birthing babies and brain surgery, I discovered that patients and nursing staff alike truly appreciate humor and a song or two. The families need us, the doctors command us, and the administration expects of us professionalism.
Our jobs often take us places that require rapid decision making and nerves of steel. I believe we need to give ourselves time and space to breathe, to “whistle a happy tune” .
We as nurses can find beacons of light in the hectic workplace by supporting each other and “trying out” alternative behaviours. I know through improvisation
such things are possible.
One Halloween as charge nurse on an adult/ residential psychiatric unit, I dressed up as a fake furry godmother, with wand in hand. It was a delight to witness otherwise disengaged adults become smiling images of their true selves.
Learn more about how medical improv can bring light and levity into our workplaces and a lot more!!