“Mommy, I want to be a nurse!”

 “My big dream is that I want to be a nurse someday!” I spoke. My mom just smiled as she ironed my school clothes. My brother chirped, “Well, you’ll have to get over fainting when you see blood.” Then he started laughing which made me dig in even more. “You’ll see, I know I can do it!”- I was 13 years old.
I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. (No, not near Tiger King) I had the same Doctor and school nurse for 10 years. There is something very special about that.
I yearned to be a Candy Striper at the local hospital, but we didn’t have the money to buy the little red pin striped dress. The yearning for the dress went away but my wanting to help people remained. I did not get to be a candy striper. Why do you ask? Well, one Friday my school counselor sent home a permission slip for my parents to sign giving and mis-spelled the word striper. What a difference one extra ‘p’ made. My dad hit the roof thinking at 13 my big dream was to be a stripper… named ‘Candy.”
I know the power of laughter as well as the healing power of laughter firsthand as I experienced it during my journey with breast cancer. I am now 12 years cancer free and attribute a lot of that to the excellent care I received from my healthcare team including my nursing angels during that difficult time. It is why I wanted to be a nurse’s speaker and it is always my pleasure to ‘give back’ and help make their conference or meeting a huge success! I love to EDU_TAIN!
For the last fifteen or so years I have been speaking and “Edu-taining” to hundreds of different kinds of healthcare groups including nurses! I say I ‘EDU_TAIN’ because in my Presentation’s I share tools, take-away, facts, statistics, personal stories, and observations which are delivered through the vehicle of hilarious comedy! And you just might shed a tear or two. I have worked as an award-winning stand-up comedian for 25 years (yep, I’m getting old!) but that gives me a tremendous advantage over others in the Speaking industry. I don’t have to try…I am funny!
One of my important goals with nurses is to encourage them to take care of themselves!
I’ve found over the years they tend to put themselves last. “Put your oxygen mask on first!” “Get that mammogram and yearly checkup! We need you!
Nurses have told me that they don’t feel appreciated. This was even before the pandemic. Having heard that a lot I make sure they know how much appreciated they have been and are. Seeing their faces when I say this is worth the hundreds of times, I’ve been stranded in an airport waiting to catch a plane to get to an event.
Stress relief and ‘Addiction to stress’ is covered. The term “addiction to stress’ was pointed out to me at a nursing conference I was speaking at in Miami by several in attendance. I was shocked, fascinated and dove right into asking them questions, researched it and it is now a section covered in my presentation. What’s the payoff? How do you recover from it? What they can do.
How you can turn stress into a positive instead of a negative and coping mechanisms are introduced. I guarantee participants will leave feeling renewed, laughing, excited and remember why they became a nurse. And maybe even remember a funny story or two. The cherry on top – they get CEU credit!
“A Merry Heart does good like a medicine – Proverbs 17:22
I discuss Laughter’s tremendous health benefits, why incorporating humor in the workplace (yes, event in the medical profession) is so vital and how to do it. I demonstrate how humor affects your attitude which in turn affects how you operate and cooperate at work. I also share healthy and positive coping strategies using as many smiles as possible along the way.