A narrative inquiry: How do nurses respond to patients’ use of humour?

Gunilla Haydon, Pamela Van Der Riet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In today's healthcare system where technical instruments and test results are used to implement care it is easy to lose the human aspect of nursing. Personal interaction can get lost and nurses sometimes miss humorous attempts made by patients. Humour is a very personal concept, what one person thinks is funny does not necessarily make another person smile, or might even be hurtful. Humour is an important communication tool for patients as it humanises the nurses, creates a bond and opens communication lines. Humour has the potential to change the hospital experience for patients. The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of humour in the therapeutic relationship between patient and nurse. Semi-structured interviews were held with four registered nurses and narrative inquiry was used to analyse and present the findings because of its ability to capture human interaction and experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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