While everyone else is lighting candles, caroling, opening gifts and spending time with family, healthcare workers are still caring for patients. Hospitals must remain fully staffed with doctors and nurses even around the holidays. Although for healthcare workers this may mean not being able to be home for the holidays and celebrate with family or friends, everyone can pull together to celebrate and make the best of their situations while caring for their patients.
Surviving the holiday seasons’ long hours doesn’t have to diminish the season’s merriness. Instead, create your own cheer!
Here are some tips for how you can make the most out of celebrating the holidays as a healthcare worker.
One of the hardest parts of working during the holiday season is missing out on spending time with family and friends. Don't let your work schedule get in the way of quality time with your loved ones. Instead, plan holiday gatherings at alternate times. If you’re scheduled to work on Thanksgiving Day, you and your crew can get together before or after with a little planning and coordination. A true holiday is whenever your family or friends can be together.
Decorate for the holidays
Just because you'll be spending the holidays working in a hospital, doesn't mean you can't spruce up the dry sterile hallways with some holiday cheer! Just make sure it doesn't interfere with patient care. Positive, cheerful decorations can help brighten the moods of the staff and patients.
Connect and empathize with your patients
As a healthcare worker, your attitude and outlook can instantly rub off on your patients. Caring for sick, lonely patients this time of year can be wrenching. Empathize with your patients and use it as a time to spread some cheer into their lives.
Enjoy holiday perks and create your own
Depending on your healthcare employer, you may receive bonus' or time-and-a-half for working holidays. Enjoy any holiday perks your organization provides you like free meals on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Even if your organization doesn't offer these perks, create your own festivities. Plan potluck dinners amongst the staff, share special treats or hold a secret Santa gift exchange.
The healthcare industry runs 365 days, 24-hours a day. Therefore, working holidays is expected. This doesn't mean you have to miss out on your favorite holiday traditions. Instead create new ones and adjust your old ones to work within your schedule. The holiday season can bring on long hours, so make it a point to spread holiday cheer to your staff and patients.