Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Archive for July, 2013

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 career, and I thought that number suddenly seemed a little low.

There are twice as many healthcare workers as there are construction workers in this country, but there are 20 OSHA inspections on construction sites for every OSHA inspection of a healthcare facility. We know, collectively, that manufacturing is dangerous. We know that construction is dangerous. But even though we’ve got the stats to prove it, there’s less than no interest in the fact that nursing is a dangerous profession.

As the author of What’s So Funny About… Nursing?: A Creative Approach to Celebrating Your Profession I’m here to tell you there’s nothing funny about this situation. We certainly can use humor to handle the stress and tension that comes with working in a chronically hazardous environment – I’ve got a list of “I just slipped in WHAT?” jokes longer than your funny bone! – but the time has come that we have a serious conversation about what we’re going to do to make the situation safer for everyone.

Are you interested in being part of the change? Then make plans to join me, Jean Watson, Glenda Christiaens and other forward thinking nurses on the Evolving Conscious Health Community Cruise. You’ll learn how we can change the profession from within, using humor and the other fundamentals of holistic healthcare. Before we can take care of our patients, we need to be able to care for ourselves. Come to the Caribbean this November to find out more!

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Baby, It’s Hot Outside: Using Humor To Help Beat The Heat

“How hot is it? Well, I just saw two trees fighting over a dog!”

Temperatures throughout the Western part of the United States are exceptionally high right now. These near-record temperatures are enough to ground small aircraft! As a nurse, I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to take special care of yourself and your loved ones – especially the elderly and small children – during this heat wave. Make sure that everyone takes in plenty of liquids, avoids exerting themselves, and stays as cool as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning or your A/C isn’t working properly, take advantage of community cooling stations.

It’s also important to keep your spirits up during this heat wave. Being exposed to excessive temperatures puts stress on your body’s systems. Luckily, laughter is an all-natural, drug-free way to reduce the impact of that stress. When we laugh, we lower our blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, and improve circulation.

“It’s so hot I just saw a roasted turkey fly by!”

Ways to Beat the Heat with Humor

Go to the air conditioned theater and watch a comedy!

Break out the water guns and start an epic splash battle!

Practice making funny voices by speaking directly into the fan! (Make sure not to get too close!)

Have a “It’s so hot…” joke contest with your friends!

Get a giant strap on shark fin and go swimming at the community pool!

“Its so hot they asked the Statue of Liberty to please lower her arm!”

When you laugh and play, you won’t just feel better, you’ll actually be better. Humor has amazing healing powers. So go ahead and laugh – and try to stay cool out there!

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