The holidays are quickly approaching, bringing with them one of the busiest times of the year for emergency rooms. Working as an ER nurse during the holidays can be difficult, but with the right tools and mindset, you can get through the next few weeks just like any other time of the year. Below are a few great pieces of advice to help nurses stay sane in the ER over the holidays.
Communication is Key
It is essential to continually communicate with others when working as an ER nurse, but during the holiday season, communication can be a lifesaver! During the holidays, shifts might be a little more understaffed as people take time off, causing the workload for everyone to increase. It can be easy to get quickly bogged down, which can cause unnecessary stress or frustration. If you feel that your to-do list is getting a bit too long, don’t be afraid to reach out to another coworker and ask for help. Telling someone else that you could use a hand will not only keep you level headed, but also better serve your patients.
Good communication is more than just remembering to ask for help. Check in with your fellow nurses regularly and make sure they are keeping their heads above water, too. Reach out to others or offer to help if you have a few extra minutes. Acts of kindness can foster collaboration and maintain a motivated mind-set throughout the holidays.
Know How to Stay Connected
Do you know how to get in contact with every member of your team? What about key leadership personnel and specialized doctors? During the holidays, a lot of people do not work their typical hours or they become preoccupied with the extra workload. However, in an emergency room anything can happen, and you might need to connect with those individuals quickly and efficiently. Before the holiday season kicks into high gear, make sure you have accurate contact information for those colleagues so they can be reached anywhere in the hospital, or even at home if necessary. It is also a good idea to post that information in multiple, easy-to-find locations as to avoid scrambling to find their contact information when you really need it.
Celebrate with your Colleagues
Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. This means many ER nurses work on holidays. Even though you might have to work, this does not mean that you cannot celebrate! There are plenty of holiday-themed activities that you can participate in with your fellow nurses. Organize a gift swap with your coworkers. Watch holiday movies on your breaks. Bake festive cookies to share with patients and other nurses. These activities lighten the mood and boost morale in the workplace. The holidays are all about being thankful for all of the good things in your life and sharing that good cheer with your favorite people. Embrace that mentality and share it with everyone you work with!
Focus on Empathy, Patience and Compassion
During to holiday season, it is important to take part in holiday traditions and celebrate. At the same time, it is also important to remember that the patients you work with might not share the same level of enthusiasm that you do. For most families, taking a trip to an emergency room is a “worst case scenario,” and even though it is a holiday, it is still your job to help your patients get through their trip to the ER. It is essential to practice a little extra patience and empathy when working in the emergency room during the holidays, and it’s even more important to show your patients and their families compassion during their visit. Listen carefully, speak calmly and act diligently during the holidays. A little extra effort in these areas can do wonders to share the holiday spirit.
GHR wishes you, your family and all your co-workers a wonderful holiday season!