Humour In Nursing

Apr 21, 2020 | Aussie Nurse

Nurses humour is the best

We are known to talk freely about subjects that might not always be appropriate these subjects of humour are usually about a funny random occurrence or just even about poop, it just helps to de-escalate a bit of stress. Nurses do have a humorous view of life but when patients get involved by chipping in, the humour can go up another level in itself.

We all have watched and listened to so many comedians, they touch on everyday observations and at times they talk about raw topics of tragedy. They have mastered timing and deliver humour in such a way that their perspective often leaves me thinking about the world a little differently.

Even different countries and cultures perceive humour in a very distinct way, for example British comedy has more irony and is ‘dry’ vs American comedy which is seen as more ‘goofy’ and ‘slapstick’. Not forgetting Australian humour being a bit ‘dry’, ‘sarcastic’ and we are known to push through in tough situations with a good laugh with always find the lighter side.

Humour has so much power with its positive affects, it brings light into everyones life as it relieves stress and boosts well being. Other benefits of a laugh are improved cardiovascular health, lower heart rates, improved blood pressure and reduces muscular tension.

“Laugh as much as possible, always laugh. It’s the sweetest thing one can do for oneself & one’s fellow human beings.”

– Maya Angelou


Humour & caring- Humour with patients

In care settings patients are in an unusual environment and they may be coping with difficult situations that may be embarrassing, even handling hardships or overcoming grief. By being mindful of their situation and to enhance their healthcare experience by using humour in a sensitive, warm, and thoughtful way reduces their anxieties and stress levels. 

Humour helps lift a persons mood through difficult subjects or feelings in life with a lighter spirit. It has another positive direct impact on health, a humorous laugh is therapeutic gold which has been found to help increase pain tolerance in people.

Humour with work colleagues

Working in the profession of nursing we are often exposed to serious situations and in a fast paced work environment having a spontaneous chuckle or even a giggle lifts the mood by changing how we feel for a moment. 

When working with peers light hearted humour/banter may break down barriers, build rapports, help develop bonds and offers support within a team, in turn may relieve workplace tensions. For nurses laughter is the best medicine and it does make experiences and emotions more positive, with everyone in a  better mood, it spreads in a wonderful connected way.


During struggles of grief and pain as nurses we exercise boundaries but we are able to the break sadness and uplift a person through humour, wonderfully cracking a joke offers a person a break from their tough situation.

For nurses sharing humour with work colleagues with a good tongue in cheek chuckle, giggle or even a snort here or there can make the workload lighter. Also offering some pleasant unity within a team and workplace, plus its wholesome with being good for us.

Share a smile – It goes a long way – Pass it on 🙂


(Photo by Frederick Tubiermont on Unsplash)

“Humour is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”

– Mark Twain 

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