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Laughter. Blood Pressure. Jean & Karen. Horizontal.

This week we’re sharing  a vintage clip of one our favorite funny ladies, Ellen Degeneres in her first appearance on the Johnny Carson to start you off with some chuckles.

And Casey offers scientific evidence that “laughter is the best medicine.” What happens when we laugh? We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. In the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the body and turned up some potentially interesting information on how it affects us:

  •  Blood Flow
  • Immune Response
  • Blood Sugar Levels
  • Relaxation and Sleep

Just to test the affects on blood flow and blood pressure, Casey and Shayne conduct a very dangerous “on air” experiment. You won’t want to miss it.

On a bit of a serious note, November is National Diabetes Month, including World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14th. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) urges people to take action and make simple but important lifestyle changes to achieve their health goals — whether they have diabetes or are at risk for the disease.

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. People with type 1 need to take daily insulin to live. In type 2 diabetes — the most common type, which has risen in incidences along with the obesity epidemic — the body does not make or use insulin well. People with type 2 may need to take pills or insulin to manage the disease. A third type, gestational diabetes, occurs in some women during pregnancy. It usually goes away after the birth, but these women and their children have a greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.Left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation. An estimated 79 million adults have pre-diabetes, a condition that places them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. For more information about Diabetes Education and Resources visit

And RNs Jean Ross and Karen Higgins join us to talk about the recent elections, what the results mean to our country and respective states. Both Jean and Karen are full time RNs and also serve as two of the three co-presidents for National Nurses United.

And Dr. Christina Purpora joins us to talk about “horizontal violence.” A veteran RN writes,

A silent killer has made its way into nursing and slowly eaten away at the core of who we are as nurses.

Dr. Christina Purpora

This epidemic is becoming so widespread that everyone from administrators to nurses’ aides are affected by it. Dr. Purpora is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco (USF). Prior to beginning her academic career in 2010, she earned a Ph.D. in nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

All this and more coming up on Nurse Talk, where laughter is the best medicine.

Remember, laughter is the best medicine. You can listen and laugh every week on Saturday at 11 am in the San Francisco Bay area on KNEW 960AM or live stream at Check out our favorite apps featuring Nurse Talk for custom radio on your  listening devices: Progressive Voices, TuneIn and iHeartRadio. You can also download and listen to any show anytime here at or on iTunes. Like us on Facebook, and you can listen there too.

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