With the pressure that comes with nursing, it is only natural to develop a quirky sense of humor to help make it through the day. Jokes exchanged between nurses may seem inappropriate to others, and in some cases downright morbid. At the end of the day, all a nurse is trying to do is lighten the mood when the situation is too much for the normal person to bear.
The quips exchanged between nurses are personal and only understood and laughable to others who know exactly where they are coming from:
Friendships born between nurses is a whole different type of love. the “I’ll hold the butt cheeks while you clean the crack” kind of love.
When you work side by side with others in extreme situations doing extraordinary things, it is only natural to try and break the ice by making jokes that other people just won’t get. Being able to joke with your peers as you work your way through rounds helps in building a sense of trust and confidence. Nurses rely heavily on one another, and by forging friendships with your peers through laughter, you are making each shift more bearable.
Laughter is not the best medicine… Tylenol is!
A small joke about the demands of patients will only make a nurse who suffers that same pain smile. Only a nurse gets how one small pill can quiet the moans and help make for a slightly more peaceful shift.
All bleeding stops… eventually.
This may seem a bit morbid to the non-medical world, but it is a hard fact of life for nurses. In most cases, the bleeding does stop and the patient recovers but sometimes there is no remedy. With this subtle joke, a nurse is recognizing the fact that despite their best efforts, the fate of a patient is ultimately out of their hands.
Remember, it’s me who chooses what size catheter you need!
It may be the doctors that are idolized for their vast knowledge and skills, but nurses know that they are really the ones in charge of a patient’s comfort and care. While good nurses won’t use that power to purposely inflict pain, it is nice to know that with a rude patient, you could if you wanted to. But please, don’t do it. Just put on your beautiful smile for those difficult patients and keep on working.
So you are allergic to Vicodin, Morphine and Norco… Let me guess, the only pain med that works for you is Dilaudid.
Some nurses know all too well the struggle of dealing with pain med-seeking addicts. New nurses may fall for the ruse of unexplained pains that only dissipate with a certain type of medication, but the seasoned nurse recognizes the signs and quickly sends the drug seeker elsewhere with a whopping sting of sarcasm.
The problem is not that obesity runs in her family, the problem is that no one runs in her family!
Another harsh truth that nurses must keep to themselves. Not all patient problems are the result of accidents, genes, or bad luck. Some patients bring the problems on themselves, a fact that nurses can only joke about when no one else is listening.
Code brown? That’s what my nursing student is for.
Every nurse has had to suffer through the grunt work as they made their way through practical nursing study. Now it is your turn to sit back and sip on your latte while your nursing student takes care of that not too pleasant patient problem down the hall.
These small doses of humor injected throughout the workday are therapeutic for nurses, helping to relieve the stress that comes with working in a medical environment. Don’t be afraid to show your own brand of humor as you work, keeping the jokes strictly between your fellow nurses.
This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.