Care More Spotlight: Laughter is the Best Medicine

Amber Karnuth, RN has a hard time describing what she loves the most about her nursing job. Luckily, that’s because she loves everything about it and is unable to single out any one aspect of her incredible 10 years spent as a nurse.

“I come into people’s lives at moments when they are not at their physical or emotional best,” she explains. “My heart shares in the joy with families of their loved one getting better when there may have been moments when their outcome was uncertain.”

Amber knows all too well that besides those uplifting moments of happiness, there can be difficulty and sadness. Helping a patient and their loved ones through those challenging times is where Amber shines, in part, because she strives to administer a dose of laughter whenever possible.

“One of my favorite parts of the job is being able to make patients laugh when they are struggling to even smile. I believe that a genuine laugh gives a person a few seconds where they forget the world around them and all of the burdens and fear that they carry,” she shares.

“To me, being able to make my patients laugh means I’ve given that person genuine happiness, even if only for a few seconds. That is better than any intervention or medicine that I could ever offer another human being.”

Although it may appear that Amber was always destined to be a nurse, it wasn’t immediately evident to her. It wasn’t until graduating high school, that Amber took a job as a home health aide, prompting her to explore a career in healthcare. She was motivated to learn more about various roles in healthcare and discovered a desire to participate in a patient’s healing process at the bedside.

“I genuinely love helping and caring for people,” she says while describing her motivations to go above and beyond. “Sometimes the smallest and seemingly insignificant things you do for your patients are what they appreciate most and makes them remember you.”

Recently, Amber was recognized not for something insignificant, but for saving her patient’s life. After surgery to have several toes amputated, Amber’s patient had a normal post-op assessment and was resting comfortably.

Later, Amber went in to check on him and assess his dressing. There, she found that an abnormal amount of blood had seeped through the bandages. She immediately called for assistance and paged the provider. Amber set up a rapid IV infusion and began providing manual compression to his foot while rushing him to the ICU.

The following day, Amber found out that the patient had needed four units of blood and was taken back in for emergency surgery, where five arteries needed to be re-cauterized. Without her timely intervention, the patient would not have survived.

Amber’s decisive action and dedication to her patients earned her this month’s Care More Spotlight award. She embodies the Supplemental Health Care belief in the power of caring, enriching lives, and inspiring better outcomes.

If you are a healthcare professional with a passion for caring, Supplemental Health Care can help connect you with opportunities that fulfill your calling. Search for jobs in your discipline today, or contact a recruitment professional and learn more about the SHC difference.

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