Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Archive for May, 2013

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 them. Other times, you need to be proactive in your search for humor. It’s essential that you do. Nurses who laugh are happier nurses. Nurses who laugh are healthier nurses. And perhaps most importantly of all, nurses who laugh are better nurses.

Humor and Healing: How Laughter Helps Oncology Nurses

Humor has many physical and emotional health benefits. One of the most important, for the oncology nurse, is that the research has shown that the regular experience of laughter promotes emotional resiliency.

If there’s anything an oncology nurse needs, it’s emotional resiliency…well, that and a vending machine that dispenses free chocolate and red wine!

In the course of our lifetimes, the entire field of oncology nursing has changed so dramatically. Once upon a time, receiving a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. People were even afraid to say the word “Cancer”. Today, things are different. We’re not where we need to be yet – but we have reached the point where many of our patients live with cancer, managing the disease as a chronic condition.

Nurses have played a huge role in bringing this change about. Jean Watson and her colleagues led the profession into embracing a holistic, whole-patient model. There’s a world of difference between being an ‘interesting tumor’ and ‘a person with an interesting tumor’ – and it has been nurses who have most clearly articulated this difference and made it matter.

Hats off to you! It’s been a long, hard road to bring the field to this point. Emotional resiliency is the quality that enables the oncology nurse to bounce back after a tough day, to hang in there providing hope and compassion when they’re needed the most.

As an oncology nurse, you’ve seen first hand the impact your patient’s emotional state can have on their treatment experience and outcome. You can harness that same power for your own benefit. Learn how in What’s So Funny About… Nursing?: A Creative Approach to Celebrating Your Profession, you’ll find:

All the benefits of humor for nurses
The most current psychoneuroimmunological research on the body-mind connection
Easy to implement strategies you can use to build your humor habit
Humor by and for nurses – designed to put a smile on your face!

A great gift for the oncology nurse in your life – especially if you ARE the oncology nurse in your life!

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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 humor is one of the best things we can do to help each other – and ourselves – be happier, healthier people. Laughter is an all-natural way to control stress, keep blood pressure low, and improve your energy levels. Whether you’re the air traffic control in a world of frequent fliers or facing another day with Dr. Crankypants, laughter provides the emotional resiliency nurses need to hang in there.

Learn more by reading What’s So Funny About… Nursing?: A Creative Approach to Celebrating Your Profession. It makes a great Nurses Day gift for the nurses you work with everyday – or for yourself!

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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 of your patients every single day.

Go you! Being a nurse isn’t for everyone. Did you know some people get upset when they get puked on? Or that they expect to have weekends and holidays off? Or that no one, ever, asks their advice about embarrassing chronic constipation problems? It’s true – but you do it.

You’re there with support and encouragement as babies come into this world, and you’re there with compassion and grace when it’s time to go. And in between, for all the scrapes and bumps and bruises and “Hey, y’all watch this now!” you’re there to help put the pieces back together, letting patients know that they don’t have to worry – all bleeding stops eventually!

You are amazing!  This week is to celebrate everything you do – and this book is to provide you with the applied humor tools, tips, and strategies that will make it much easier to keep doing it. A great gift for yourself or the nurses you work with. Nurses who laugh are happier, healthier people – and they’re better nurses too!

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