Humour in forensic services: Enabling connections between patients and students

Jones, Emma orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2153-2781, Wright, Karen Margaret orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0693-7294 and Mckeown, Michael orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0235-1923 (2024) Humour in forensic services: Enabling connections between patients and students. British Journal of Mental Health Nursing . ISSN 2049-5919 (In Press)

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Shared laughter, a joke or banter can be an essential element to positive relationships between patients and nurses. Students represent the present and future of mental health nursing, often having greater patient contact than registered nurses, and this is appreciated by patients. Despite the many benefits of the experience of humour, there are some considerations that are important with regards to risk, particularly in forensic services. Interest in humour and such related interventions began to increase in mental health settings over a decade ago, yet there remains a paucity of consideration of the risks and benefits for students and patients in forensic services, hence exploration in this discussion paper of the wider literature in the context of the time patients and student nurses share in forensic settings, exploring the benefits and risks present. Everyday humour can be influential with regards to building connections and relationships. Hence, exploration of education for students, and promotion of open conversations between patients and mental health nursing students around use of humour is called for.

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