By: Maureen Doolan and Maria McGowan, Canada
It’s safe to say you didn’t become a nurse because of the sociable hours. Working long shifts whether they be days, nights, or in the middle of a snowstorm, is something all nurses should be commended for. Also, nurses often have to work holidays such as Christmas and Easter to name a few.
Let’s be honest; you’re probably not going to be able to manage to get every holiday in the calendar off. So, think well ahead of time and decide what holidays to try and prioritize. Maybe this year you have visitors, but it looks like it’s going to be a quiet Christmas?
Depending on how the schedule works at your hospital, consider shift swapping. It’s very likely that there will be someone on the schedule who would rather work a holiday, and if you can find this person and swap, everyone is happy, and no favors are owed. Maybe this year you have no plans. If you help someone out this year, they’ll be more inclined to help you out next year.
A great perk of working this holiday is the extra pay!
Remember, you’re bound to be helping patients that would much rather be at home with their families celebrating the holiday too, so bringing in some holiday spirit will make both yours, and their experience better. Consider bringing in some food to share, dress for the occasion or just make sure you remember to wish everyone a great day.
No matter how much you plan - the medical profession is unpredictable – especially when it comes to working hours. Just think, you may end up working a holiday no matter how hard you’ve tried to arrange cover or a swap, and that’s just life.
At least you don’t have to deal with your Aunt’s notoriously questionable dessert! However, if you’re feeling down about it, remember why you became a nurse in the first place. What you’re doing is appreciated and working those unsociable hours and missing those holidays is just one of many reasons we need people like you to do such an amazing and important job.
You can always treat yourself to a new set of our athletic scrubs! XO
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