Gallows’ Humor



This photo is really quite disturbing. It is “staged” to look like a guy got his head chopped off in a meat slicer. (Note the lack of blood, and the pink complexion on the “headless” guy…) Obviously, a dead guy would be pale, whitish, and smeared with crimson juices. This is NOT the case. I have worked in  the medical field a long time, so to me it’s not very real. What I do find it to be is AMUSING.

“Gallows'” humor is something almost everyone in the Medical field finds amusing. When you see sickness and death all day long, it becomes routine. You do get immune to the grizzly and gory. If you work in a hospital, if you can’t embrace sick humor, you may not fit in. I just saw a show on TV today called “NY Emergency“. It showed the nurses playing a practical joke on one of the doctors. One of the nurses actually zipped herself into a Body Bag, and then her friends told the doctor, someone needed to be “Declared Dead”. When he un-zipped the bag, the nurse popped out and scared him. They ALL laughed. This showed an example of “Gallows Humor” at it’s finest.

I remember the first time I took a Nursing course. A RN with many years of experience told us one very important fact. She told us: “Never Lose your sense of humor.” Her explanation was simple and practical. If you can’t laugh at the atrocities you see and hear in a hospital, you  may go a little nuts or “Burn-Out” very quickly. Humor is an important part of working in a hospital and can save you from getting bored with it.

I remember seeing a charge nurse on Pediatrics who completely “Lost It” one morning. She started screaming and yelling for NO REASON. I think the “Men in the White Coats” had to haul her to the Psychiatric Ward. She was too stressed out for the environment she was in. Later I was told she had a nervous breakdown. This is just a “layman’s” term for a psychotic break. You can go psycho if you take things too seriously. One thing is certain, she NEVER returned to Pediatrics. I just hope she didn’t spend the rest of her life in a rubber room.


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