The holidays are upon us and this can be a bittersweet time of the year for a nurse. It’s almost impossible to avoid the fact that you may find yourself working on a holiday. It can be hard to spend this time away from your loved ones but in fact, these are also some of the most important days to be a nurse. From sharing precious moments with new parents, to comforting a family who just lost a loved one, life doesn’t stop just because it’s the holidays. We came up with some tips to help you get through the “most wonderful time of the year”.
Reschedule your day.
Sometimes you just have to work with what you got! Work around your schedule and replan your holiday festivities. When scheduling your shifts, try to avoid working multiple days in a row, unless you really need or want to. It sounds enticing to work a straight 3-day shift in order to get it out of the way and make room for holiday family time, but don’t forget about your well-being and mental health. Working multiple shifts in a row is tough in general, but the added stress of the holiday season can really take a toll on you. Celebrate the week before or the week after. The holidays are about spending time with the ones you love, no matter what day of the week it is.
Celebrate with your work “family”.
There’s nothing like spreading the holiday cheer with your colleagues, after all they become like a second family. There’s a good chance that your coworkers are feeling the same way as you during the holidays. Since you are all working this holiday season, plan to have some fun while you are there. Try to engage with each other and keep the positive morale up. Potlucks are a great way to spend time with, interact and talk to your coworkers about other things that aren’t work related. Inviting all team members to participate can make everyone feel welcomed and important.
Be festive and remember you are not alone.
Wearing fun themed socks, putting a holiday pin on your scrubs or even using a festive pen can keep you in the holiday spirit. Decorating your workspace can also bring some holiday cheer to you and your coworkers. Instead of focusing on what everyone outside of the hospital is doing, take some time to have a conversation with a coworker or a patient. You can have a Christmas morning cup of coffee together rather than using down time to scroll through social media.
Lastly, patients are normally disappointed about being in the hospital on holidays as well. Depending on their health, they might be missing out on more than just one. Their families are missing them too and they may not be able to all visit. While it seems hard working during the holidays, for some of your patients, you might be all they have. Be their friend, show them love, and help them to celebrate in whatever way you can.