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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 8 Contact Hours
  • Mary Bennett, DNS, APRN
  • Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT
  • Lynette S. Smith, PhD, PMHNP, FNP
  • Sherry Lovan, PhD, MSN, RN
Peer Reviewer(s): Hobie Etta Feagai, EdD, MSN, FNP-BC, APRN-Rx
Item#: L0980
Contents: 1 Course Book (148 pages)
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Humor in Dentistry

Price $79.95
Item # L0980
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: December 12, 2018

Expiration Date: December 12, 2021

This course will discuss ways in which healthcare providers can incorporate humor into care of individuals and their families. To support the suggestions regarding humor in practice, this text offers discussion of various studies pointing out the efficacy of humor in health care. The target population for this basic-level course is any dental professional who works with patients, as well as any healthcare provider who wants to improve his or her knowledge of therapeutic humor.


AGD Subject Code: 130

Western Schools designates this activity for 8 continuing education credits.

Course Objectives

  • Discuss the meaning of humor and the theories of humor.
  • Discuss the evolution of humor in health care.
  • Describe how humor develops from infancy to adulthood.
  • Explain how humor can be used in the dental setting to benefit patients and their providers.
  • Recognize the psychobiological and psychosocial effects of humor.
  • Describe how humor can affect the immune system, physiological health, and pain management.
  • Discuss how humor can be helpful to individuals with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
  • Discuss the effective use of humor in psychiatric settings.
  • Describe different types of formal humor programs and the concerns and considerations related to
    implementing such a program.
  • Discuss ways to engage in humorous interchanges with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare

Mary Bennett, DNS, APRN, is a professor and director of the Western Kentucky University School of Nursing. She has been a faculty member for 27 years, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. Her clinical work is as a family nurse practitioner in the primary care setting. Dr. Bennett’s primary research focus is testing the effects of various complementary therapies on physiological and psychological outcomes, using psychoneuroimmunlogy as the underlying theory. Her dissertation was on the effect of laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity. Her subsequent research has examined the effects of laughter, massage therapy, relaxation therapy, and music therapy on stress and immune function. Other areas of Dr. Bennett’s research interest are examining barriers to pre-nursing and nursing student success, and care of the end-of-life patient. Dr. Bennett has received research funding and awards from Rush University, Indiana State University, Western Kentucky University, and the Lambda Sigma and Kappa Theta chapters of Sigma Theta Tau International. She has presented her research at national and international conferences such as the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society conference and the International Society for Humor Studies conference. Dr. Bennett’s research has been published in numerous journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Oncology Nursing Forum, Psycho-Oncology, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Journal of Biological Research for Nursing, Brain Behavior and Immunity, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, and the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.

Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, is an instructor in nursing and psychology at undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Dr. Wilson has a PhD in health psychology with a focus in psychoneuroimmunology and a master’s degree in holistic nursing. Dr. Wilson has worked in nursing for many years, gaining expertise in public health, mental health nursing, obstetrics, epidemiology, breastfeeding trends, wellness, behavioral influence on immunity, and nursing education. Dr. Wilson has a private practice as a holistic nurse and more than 100 publications to her credit, including peer-reviewed research articles. She has made more than 150 professional and peer-reviewed presentations. Dr. Wilson is an internationally known speaker on stress, health, immune function, and self-care. She is the managing editor of the International Journal of Childbirth Education. She was declared the Tennessee 2015 March of Dimes Nurse Educator of the Year in Tennessee and received the Tennessee Nurses’ Association Award for Nursing Excellence in Education. She is an associate professor at Austin Peay State University School of Nursing. The American Holistic Nurses Association declared Dr. Wilson the 2017-2018 Holistic Nurse of the Year.

Lynette S. Smith, PhD, PMHNP, FNP, is an assistant professor at Western Kentucky University School of Nursing, in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), family nurse practitioner (FNP), and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) programs at the graduate level. She practices as a PMHNP and FNP in a community mental health setting. Dr. Smith’s primary research interests include substance abuse, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT); clinical documentation in an electronic clinical tracking system (ECTS) to meet national core competencies; and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes. Dr. Smith has presented her research at international, regional, and local conferences such as Sigma Theta Tau International and the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives, as well as Western Kentucky Research Day. Dr. Smith’s research has been published in several journals, including Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, and Nurses in Professional Development.

Sherry Lovan, PhD, MSN, RN, has served as the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program coordinator in the Western Kentucky University (WKU) School of Nursing since 2012. Her educational background includes an associate of science in nursing (ASN) degree, a BSN degree, and a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree from Western Kentucky University. In 2009, she earned a doctor or philosophy (PhD) degree in educational administration and organizational leadership from the University of Louisville/WKU. Her research interests include servant leadership, professionalism, mentoring, a positive work environment, and the retention of nursing students. She has published in Nursing Ethics, Journal of Nursing Education, Journal of Christian Nursing, International Journal of Human Caring, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and Journal of Nursing Regulation.


Dr. Tom Gerner, DDS: After graduating from Case-Western Reserve School of Dentistry, the U.S. Air Force sent me to Plattsburgh, New York. After 3½ years I opened my own practice and am still there. My partner, Craig Heins, and I joined forces three years ago by starting True North Dental Group. I have always enjoyed dentistry and find it amusing on a daily basis.

Hobie Etta Feagai, EdD, MSN, FNP-BC, APRN-Rx, has served as the BSN Department interim assistant dean of nursing for administration, program chair for faculty and learning resources, and nursing faculty assembly chair over more than two decades at Hawai‘i Pacific University. She was promoted to full professor in August of 2008. Her educational background includes a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree from the University of Kentucky – Lexington, and a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. In 2007, she earned a doctorate of education (EdD) in educational leadership in higher education from Argosy University in Honolulu. Her research interests include humor in higher education nursing classrooms; problem-based learning: a creative approach to teaching physical assessment to APRNs; using humor in healthcare practice; contemporary nursing students; presenteeism; modeling professionalism; and caring Samoan style. She has published in Open Journal of Nursing and Nurse Leader. Her work has been presented at local, national, and international conferences. She has reviewed multiple nursing textbooks at the request of publishers. Dr. Feagai also continues to practice part-time as a family nurse practitioner/advanced practice registered nurse.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.