I don’t know about you, but it has felt like forever to get to April! But it’s here now and with it, lots of April holidays and celebrations.

Most of us know about April Fool’s day. We may play a few harmless pranks on friends, co-workers and family members. What fewer people know about is Laugh at Work Week. The week kicked off on April 1st and is dedicated to having fun at work and encouraging every worker in every organization to laugh at work, enjoy the week, and experience the value of laughter.

Laughter can push us through the challenges of the day by improving memory, enhancing creativity, decreasing stress and increasing motivation. What business—especially THESE DAYS—wouldn’t benefit from a workforce with these positive characteristics?

This April issue of The Flame offers some lighthearted anecdotes in the hopes they’ll bring laughter. Happy Passover! Happy Easter!

— Betty Long, RN, MHA, President/CEO, Guardian Nurses Health Advocates


Who Doesn’t Like to Laugh?

Laughter and humor have always been part of our Guardian Nurses’ culture. And for good reason! Studies show that a good belly laugh can have the same positive cardiovascular effects as a sustained aerobic workout. Humor relaxes people, reduces stress and conflicts, and opens inner doorways to enhanced creativity and problem solving. Funny as it may sound, humor is absolutely essential to the success of any organization.

So, we’re sharing some funny, ‘real-life,’ true anecdotes from our work with patients in the hopes that you, too, will laugh when you read them. Thanks to all of the patients, physicians, nurses, colleagues and friends who offered their contributions to this issue of The Flame.

  1. While waiting with one of our patients in the ER, our nurse advocate was trying unsuccessfully to reach the patient’s husband. She asked the patient, “Does he have a cell phone?” to which the woman responded, “Yes, but we only use them for emergencies.”
  2. “All they need here at change of shift is gin and tonic.” (A patient commenting on the noise level outside of her room in an acute care facility as she recovered from surgery.)
  3. “I tried reading all of that information they gave me about the surgery, about the anesthesia, but I only got two pages in and decided I was going to go out and get a pedicure.” (A patient two days away from major surgery commenting on the printed material given to her to prepare her for that surgery.)
  4. While accompanying a patient to her primary care doctor’s visit, this conversation ensued. Patient: “Do you think I should go on Humira?” Doctor: “Yes, I think there are 3 good reasons to go on Humira. #1, it may help with your Crohn’s Disease. #2, it may also help with your rheumatoid arthritis and #3, the pharmaceutical company that makes it trades as XXXX and I have stock in the company so it will help me.”
  5. We reached out on behalf of a patient to a radiation oncology practice named Precision Radiology. We thought that was better than getting treatment at “Pot Shot Radiology.”
  6. Overheard at a health fair…”I lost 60 lbs in the last year and I feel great.” “Wow! Good for you. How did you do it?” “Diet and exercise.” His friend paused and said, “Really? That works?”
  7. A friend of a patient told us that he had a knee replacement in France where, he said, the hospital staff asked him if with his dinner, he’d like red or white wine? How civilized!
  8. And let’s not forget our patient who arrived at dialysis in her wheelchair, rolled outside for some fresh air, and ended up getting into a cab and going to a casino! She had a great day, returned unharmed to the healthcare facility and came back a winner! (We do not recommend this).
  9. An honest answer….when a newly diagnosed diabetic patient was asked “Are you checking your blood sugar?” he responded, “Nope.” Why? asked his nurse advocate….”Because it hurts,” he said.
  10. A patient once told us that she reported to her family doctor that “When I check my pulse, I can tell I’m having extra beats.” His response? “Then stop checking your pulse.”
  11. The daughter of an elderly patient was with her dad at the doctor’s appointment when the doctor said to her, “Well, have you selected a surgeon yet?” She said she looked at the doctor and said, “Dr. Smith, I know shoes. I do not know surgeons.”

All the more reason to call Guardian Nurses. We DO know surgeons! Not to mention a lot of other stuff, too, that can help light your way through the healthcare maze!



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