As the holidays approach and everyone begins making plans for family get-togethers and trips away, but as nurses we find ourselves in the shadows of making plans. Working most holidays is a part of the job. Not one that we enjoy but it’s our duty, it is what we signed up for.
Working long hours and missing out on spending quality time with family is not something unusual for us to go through. And it never gets easier especially around the holidays.
So how can we as nurses ensure we still get to enjoy the holiday season and what do nurses really want for the holidays besides the perfect Chanel or Louis bag? There are many other intangibles we want for the holidays and this article outlines some of them.
It is not just something that is said but it is something that is meant. A ‘thank you’ goes a long way especially over the holiday period. A handwritten thank you note, a bunch of flowers picked from your own garden or time to sit down and chat with homemade cookies, goes a long way when you are wanting to show your appreciation to a nurse.
Laughter and fun
Even nurses say that laughter is the best medicine. Holidays can be hard at any time of year and especially after the worry and stress of the last two years, laughter is more important than ever. Dedicate a day to wearing holiday outfits or accessories, display tacky holiday jokes around the break room, but most of all don’t take each day more seriously than you have to.
Time to Care for Themselves while at work
Never underestimate the power of having a cup of tea or coffee while it is still hot. Or having a long enough break to go to the bathroom, freshen up AND get some fresh air. A nurse rarely gets a proper break to look after themselves when they are looking after others, so ensure you have your colleagues back and do everything you can to ensure ALL nurses get a proper break, especially during the holiday season.
Tips For Busy Nurses to Celebrate the Holidays
Just because you are working and are away from family during the holidays, doesn’t mean the time should not be celebrated. There are many ways that nurses can bring holiday cheer to their days even when they cannot be with their loved ones.
Check out some of these tips to get into the holiday spirit.
- Organize a workplace Secret Santa so everyone can receive and open a gift on Christmas. This can be organized so each person gets a name to buy for, or so all staff purchase a gift and place it wrapped under the tree for everyone to select a random gift.
- Make break times a special occasion by having a shared feast in the breakroom. Get all staff to bring in a plate of festive food to share, add some holiday decorations and enjoy some of your favorite holiday food when you can, during your shift.
- Take advantage of modern technology and designate a time for everyone to make a Facetime or Zoom call to their loved ones during special occasions. Are the children opening gifts or is someone carving the turkey? There is no need to miss out on these moments just because you cannot be there.
In addition to these suggestions, we just want everyone we love to be safe and happy over the holidays. We want to care for our patients, knowing that everyone else is cared for at home. This is what nurses really want for the holidays.