Exercising the funny bone? Exploring the role of Humour in the Emergency Department: An Ethnographic study
Aim: A review of literature and a research proposal explores the use of humour within the Emergency Department (ED) relating to the nurse- patient relationship. Method: Through critical analysis five research papers were selected for review. A critical appraisal tool (CASP) was used to analyse the research methods against the findings. These findings were grouped together into five overarching themes. The research proposal aims to explore the use of humour within the ED in the nurse - patient relationship. An ethnographic methodology was chosen and methods for data collection are observations and interviews of nurses and patients in one ED in Scotland. Video footage of resus will also be requested as data and the program “24 hours in A&E” will be used to gain a perspective of the ED culture. Thematic and discourse analyses will be used to analyse raw data. Results and Conclusion Themes which emerged from the literature review were: The use of humour in healthcare, why is humour used, patient initiated humour, the therapeutic use of humour and when humour is not used. The literature highlights humour is present in healthcare. Nurses and patients both comment on its use and benefits. Humour was used as a coping mechanism by patients, to mask concerns and to help destress nurses. Nurses stated they found humour to be more present in males than females and discuss humour affecting professionalism. Literature also comments on humour not being used when patients are in pain or in a life-threatening situation. This highlights a gap in research relating to the use of humour in the ED. There was a lack of observational research, and patient perspective interviews. It is hoped that the research proposal will lead to the research being undertaken with the aim of increasing evidence-based care relating to the use of humour and result in person-centredness. The research results will be disseminated into an article and presented in a poster and perhaps at a conference. Key Words: Humour, Humor, Nursing, Emergency Department, Research Proposal, Ethnography, Person-centred care.