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Laughter Is the Best Medicine

An Interview with Nurse Blake

By John Hayden

Even without a pandemic, nurses are often overworked and underappreciated. Now they’re getting a night out, a good laugh, and the recognition they deserve. Nurse Blake is a licensed registered nurse who is also a viral video star across several platforms including TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook and he’s hanging up the IV bag and hitting the road for a comedy tour. 

“I am so excited. This is my second big tour,” Blake told OutClique. “This one is all about nurses putting in their paid time off (PTO) requests which almost always get denied because nurses are overworked. It’s about putting them first and sharing my story and life through nursing school and becoming a nurse.” 

Called The PTO Comedy Tour, the show is a funny behind the scenes look at the world of nursing. Of course, having PTO and vacation requests denied is something most people can relate to. 

“That’s a very good point,” Blake said. “People other than nurses attend my shows.”

Blake grew up in the Orlando area and started working in healthcare 10 years ago in patient transport. In 2014, he received his nursing degree from Seminole State UCF’s Concurrent Program. Nursing is a very personal profession, an aspect Blake loves. 

“My favorite part about nursing is connecting with patients,” he said. “I think that’s what drives people into the nursing profession. As nurses, we get to spend a lot of time with our patients, more than any other type of healthcare professionals.” 

However, the job is still stressful, and Blake channeled that stress into viral stardom.

Nurse Blake Photo
Photo Courtesy of nurseblake.com

“I was so stressed at work and I just needed an outlet to connect with other nurses,” he said. “I never ever would have pictured myself and my nursing career leading me in this direction. It’s definitely been a good outlet for me as my way to not only celebrate what I do but it’s also a resiliency builder.”

Blake says what makes his show hit home is its genuineness. “Everything I joke and laugh about has happened. I’ve either experienced it or witnessed it with a co-worker or peer that I went to school with or worked with.” 

His shows are especially popular with his fellow nurses. 

“I’m so excited,” he said. “I feel like nurses want to get out and need to get out and laugh with each other in a way that you don’t get to do at work. What’s so cool is all these people from different backgrounds and experiences coming together in a theater and being able to laugh together and cry together. No matter what type of nurse you are, we can all pretty much relate to the same thing.”

Blake has millions of followers on social media and his commenters have formed a community. 

“My community’s very positive,” he said. “I try to keep my content an even mix of funny yet still professional. At the end of the day I’m a licensed registered nurse.” Many of the comments are from other healthcare professionals sharing stories that he says are often funnier than his videos and it’s that sense of community that binds them together. “I want to portray nurses in a good light while still being honest and authentic about what we do and the struggles of nursing.”

The PTO Comedy Tour will be making a South Florida stop at the Broward Center Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 8PM at the Amaturo Theater. While he’s looking forward to the performance, he is also excited about going out after the show. 

“I love Wilton Manors, it is such a fun place. I spent some time there a few years ago. I’m definitely excited to spend an evening in Wilton Manors.”

The show is hitting 48 cities and is a mix of new videos, stand-up, and skits. Blake says it’s going to simultaneously be hilarious and cathartic. “My favorite part about performing is bringing nurses together to party and celebrate them. They get pretty wild because we’re all connected. We may not know each other but when you look deep as nurses we are connected in some crazy way.”

For more information on The PTO Comedy Tour and to purchase tickets, go to BrowardCenter.org.