Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Archive for March, 2014

Humor Resources for Nurses: Cartoons For Caption Contests

Looking for a fun way to boost morale in your health care facility? Caption contests are a great idea. Simply print out one (or more!) of the cartoons below and have your team members come up with their own funny captions. You’ll be astonished what the talented (or twisted!) minds of your nursing staff can come up with.

As an incentive, you can offer Prizes of Incredible Value: I’ve found baked goods and Starbucks work very well indeed. Don’t forget to share the best ones on social media: you can tweet them to me @funnynurse!

Caption Contest 1

Caption Contest 2

Caption Contest 3

Caption Contest 4


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15 Fun Things To Do When You’re Feeling Down

One of the most amazing things about laughter is how profoundly and immediately it alters our mood. Laughter is not only the best medicine, it’s incredibly fast-acting medicine.

That’s why I recommend that people create a Fun List of activities, media, and people that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  When you’re feeling down for whatever reason, drag out the Fun List and choose one of the options on it. Laughter doesn’t solve our problems, but it does make it easier for us to handle those problems.

After speaking at LaughFest (an absolutely awesome event you’ll want to add to your calendar every year!) my new friend Dawn asked me to share what’s on my own personal Fun List. Here you go – these are the 15 fun things that never fail to put a smile on my face:

1.Big Bang Theory (sitcom)

2. David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall (CD/MP3)

                                                              3. Reading Sunday comics


                                                              4. Watching funny movies (Top picks: “In & Out” with Kevin Kline, “When Harry Met Sally” and “Steel Magnolias”)


                                                               5. Youtube: Laughing Babies (any and all)


                                                                6. Youtube: Bloopers from my favorite shows (including Doctor Who and Castle)


                                                                 7.  Going to card rack and looking for funny cards to send someone for no reason in particular


                                                                8.  A Journal of my mirthful memories, love to write them up or review as needed


                                                                 9. A phone call to my funny sister, or my funny son


                                                                 10. Laughter Yoga or laughing for no reason


                                                                11. People watching in airports or Board Walk in Pacific Beach (1 mile from my house)


                                                                 12. Visiting a store with fun gadgets or toys like BrookStone, KB Toys, boutiques, gift stores


                                                                 13. Looking for funny memes on Pinterest


                                                                 14. Searching for #humor on Twitter


                                                                  15. Going on a scavenger hunt for things that make me laugh



What’s on your Fun List? If you’d like to share, email them to me at Karyn@KarynBuxman.com. Your list could have 15 items – or it might only have 3! The point is that they should be things that make you smile, laugh, and experience joy. Life is better when we have  more fun. We’re happier, healthier and we get more done. The Fun List is a simple tool to make that happen!

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When Funny Means Money: How LaughFest Helps Grand Rapid’s Bottom Line

Okay, if you’re from a community that has no financial worries, or you’re in charge of economic development in a town that’s already booming, you can skip this post. Everybody else, keep reading! I want to tell you something amazing about the power of humor and how laughter can mean some serious money for your town.

I’ve just come back from speaking at LaughFest, a great event that began as an offshoot of Gilda’s Club (humor for cancer patients) that today  promotes the message of humor as a vital part of emotional  health for all. This event is really designed with something for everyone. Top tier comedians like Lily Tomlin and Jay Leno were there to entertain the crowds, and there were many, many free or low cost events so everyone could participate and have a good time.

An absolutely amazing legion of volunteers makes this event happen, ensuring that performers made it to and from many venues throughout the city. Performances weren’t limited to pricey convention centers. The laughter took place in libraries, museums – a great use of public infrastructure that’s already in place! The local population really benefited from LaughFest – and so too did the legions of people who came to take part in this fun, health-promoting event.

How many people?

Lots of people.

LaughFest has become so popular, in fact, that the festival has brought in more than 4 million dollars over the past 4 years. Now, I’m a nurse, not an economist, but from my point of view, it’s pretty hard to see the local government that wouldn’t appreciate a 4 million dollar boost to the region. The increased demand in lodging, restaurant meals, gas, retail and other sales is great news for the local businesses and the communities that depend on their tax dollars.

When well done, as LaughFest was, laughter can differentiate a region, drive tourist traffic, increase revenues and boost the economic health of a region. In other words, funny means money. I think that’s worth talking about.

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A Special Resource on Nurse Leadership

Nurses are known for their compassion, clinical expertise, and ability to work a 12 hour shift without ever once needing to eat or use the bathroom. Okay, that last bit was a joke, but now I’m being deadly serious. Leadership is one of the most essential nursing skills you can develop. That’s why I’m grateful to Ellice Cooper for creating and sharing this super informative infographic, The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Nurse Leader.

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Nurse Leader features 10 chapters, jam packed with useful, insightful information and valuable resources you can use to assist you on your journey toward a leadership role. It’s free, so I encourage you to check it out and share it with your friends and colleagues who may also be interested in nurse leadership.

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