Humor in Clinic
Section Editor Kevin L. Smith, RNC, MSN, FNP
Equipment and activities for humor interventions in hospitals and clinics
- Humor rooms, humor carts, humorous videos for patients to check out.
- Invite guest performers such as comedians, magicians, or clowns.
- Wear a humorous item, silly button, neck tie, etc.
- Display humorous photos of staff – your staff is humorous - just give them a chance.
- Have a cartoon bulletin board with favorites from staff and patients displayed each week.
- Play music which encourages playful movement.
- Support and applaud the efforts staff and patients make regarding humor and positive attitudes.
- Join the American Association for Therapeutic Humor, http://aath.org/.
Eight steps for developing your sense of humor
- Gain an awareness and knowledge of the benefits of humor. Adopting a humorous outlook takes both a change in attitude and behavior.
- Identify inappropriate humor. Avoid it. This is any type of humor that can be perceived as offensive to others. Humor should not be divisive.
- Get to know what amuses you. What type of humor works for you on the job? What feels comfortable for you? Never tell a joke or a story unless you like it yourself and think it is really funny. It must be genuine.
- Do a humor history on yourself. List favorite jokes, comedians, styles of humor, humorous situations that happened to you, TV shows, and movies.
- Keep a file of humorous anecdotes, stories, jokes, and cartoons.
- You need to be somewhat of a risk taker to start using humor or to use it more. Working humor into your routine is a process and not an event.
- Allow yourself to be silly.
- Surround yourself with people who have a humorous, positive outlook, and most of all, learn to laugh at yourself.