DiversityNursing Blog

10 Tips To Help You Enjoy Your Holiday Nursing Shift

Posted by Pat Magrath

Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 04:19 PM

cee7b8dcb59575f069eae423085a3bc0.jpgThe holiday season is fast approaching and with that comes a lot of stress in both our personal and professional lives. No matter what holiday you celebrate, we hope it is a joyful and peaceful holiday for you and your family.
To help you deal with the holiday details, we found this article that offers some useful tips to help you enjoy the holidays. What works for you? Perhaps you’ve discovered something that you’d like to share.
As October comes to a close, we can feel the excitement and, at times, stress of the holidays approaching. While many people are out buying their last-minute Halloween costumes or planning their Thanksgiving menu, or even setting up their Christmas decorations (we know, early!), nurses are preparing for working their holiday shifts. 

Working over the holidays is a reality check for nurses. While other professionals get this time off to be with their loved ones, nurses are caring for their patients and working to ensure the safety of other people’s friends and family members. While it is an honor at any time to care for the sick or injured, we understand it can be especially difficult at the celebratory times of the year. 

To make these occurrences a tad easier, and even fun, here are 10 ways to make the most of your holiday nursing shift. 

1. Plan ahead
Start planning your holiday shifts way ahead of time. Coordinate with your loved ones on days to celebrate that work around your schedule. For instance, if you are working over Thanksgiving, plan to celebrate a day or two later. Speak with your manager about the best way to ensure you are there to cover your shift, but that you also have time built in for those holidays that are important to you. 

2. Ask for help
Do you normally do the bulk of the Christmas or Hanukkah cooking? Ask your family members to pitch in or organize a pot luck so everyone shares the labor. If you know you are scheduled to work over a holiday, know your limits and time constraints and ask those around you to assist in the holiday preparations.

3. Be prepared
If you are scheduled to work over certain holidays, be prepared to meet any holiday-related needs of patients. Be on the lookout for complications of diabetes and dehydration over Halloween and be sensitive to how costumes may interfere with your ability to care for a patient or how they may affect a patient, especially those with a mental illness. Be ready for cooking-related injuries, such as burns or cuts, around Thanksgiving. Pay extra attention to patients suffering from depression around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. If you know what to look for, you will feel more prepared when encountering these situations. 

4. Make your work space feel like home
With permission from your manager, decorate your work station over the holidays. Put up paper pumpkins and turkeys. String twinkle lights and set up a holiday tree or bush. Just be sure to be sensitive and inclusive of everyone’s holidays, not just your own. 

5. Organize a work party
Many times, your co-workers can feel like family. Take some time during a shift to celebrate with your team. Have everyone bring in their favorite holiday treat or consider exchanging small gifts. You may also consider planning a holiday party outside of your work setting. It’s nice to take the time out to blow off steam and enjoy your co-workers’ company. 

6. Celebrate when you can
Working over New Year’s Eve? Celebrate at a time that works for you. Start the countdown at 5am with the other nurses working alongside you. If you want to celebrate with family and friends, you can do the same – pick another day and/or time, adjust your clocks and watches and ring in the New Year accordingly. 

7. Be resourceful 
Make the most of your breaks during your shift. If able, Skype with friends and family, follow their photos on Facebook or Instagram, or ask someone to share videos of the holiday gatherings with you. Utilize available technology to stay as connected as possible. 

8. Be mindful
Be mindful that the patients are there for the holidays too. Try to lift their spirits by asking if they would like their room decorated or try speaking with them about happy holiday memories. You may be able to help accommodate visitors or help patients get in touch with family and friends. 

9. Know your limits
Too busy to decorate for your favorite holiday? Not enough time to go to the mall to buy gifts? Too stressed to cook your traditional holiday meals? Cut corners where you can; shop online, skip the decorating all together, order take-out or pick up prepared food from a local store. Determine what you can do without and compromise where you can. 

10. Focus on the positive
Depending on your work place, there may be benefits to working a holiday shift, such as extra pay or the next holiday off. During the holidays, you may also get to enjoy a slower work pace and a shorter commute. On top of that, you are in it together with your fellow nurses and your patients, who all are there to share the holiday with you.
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Topics: Holidays, holiday shifts, working holidays

Nurse Gives Christmas Card To Entire Airplane Crew

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Jan 06, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

One airplane pilot says he and his whole crew got a touching surprise from a grateful passenger while they were working on Christmas.

"Today, a passenger gave our crew Christmas cards with this note inside," theunidentified pilot said on Reddit. The note was apparently from a nurse who cares for cancer patients at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Airplane crew members on Reddit seemed to support the idea that such a small gesture makes a big difference.

"As a former FA [flight attendant], I can confirm that it is always appreciated when passengers were nice, or acknowledged us in this way," user MonorailBlack wrote on Thursday. "Flying over the holidays isn't fun - missing Christmas with your family for more than 10 years gets really old. The little things made it more tolerable."

Topics: nurse, note, working holidays, pilot, Christmas

3 tips to help you enjoy your holiday shifts

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Dec 20, 2013 @ 01:27 PM


iStockphoto | ThinkStockWhy am I doing this again?

Now that the holiday season is upon us (and many of us nurses have to work while our loved ones get to stay home and play), we might be questioning why we went into nursing in the first place. It’s no fun working when everyone else is off, enjoying meals, gifts and holiday traditions with family and friends.

But this is the time of year when many of our patients need us most.

Some of them don’t have family and friends. Many of them are scared and alone. And I can bet that all of them would rather be anywhere but in the hospital during this time of year.

Instead of focusing on the downsides of nursing during the holidays, let’s choose something different. Together we can empower ourselves and enjoy our work and our home life, no matter where we find ourselves on these special days.

Here are three tips for shifting your nursing perspective during this busy time of year:

1. Reconnect with what you enjoy. One of the simplest ways to reconnect ourselves with our nursing selves is to remember what brought us to nursing in the first place. After that memory is brought back to life, bring it into the here-and-now. You might ask yourself the following questions: What is it about nursing that I love? What’s my favorite part of my job? In what ways am I passionate about this really awesome and humbling profession? Reconnecting with your purpose is a wonderful way to shed light on the joy of your life.

2. Discover the good in everyone. I had a client last week tell me how she was making a conscious choice to find the good in every single person she worked with, even when it was hard. From the front desk to the parking garage, from the manager to the newest graduate on your unit, from the CEO to the ancillary staff, what can you appreciate in every single person? The more you see the good in everything you do–and everyone you greet–the more your environment is filled with good things to see. Try it for yourself. Give this a shot for a week or so and see what happens.

3. Be mindful of gratitude. The fastest and easiest to shift your perspective is through the practice of gratitude. We get what we give. Now, during the holidays, or at any time of year. Our thoughts become our worlds. If you’re able to focus on what you’re thankful for–about your job, your place of employment and your coworkers–you’re much more likely to enjoy working the holiday shifts. Yes, they may still be hard…we all want to be with family. But what is it about being a nurse and sharing the holiday with a patient that can lift your spirits? How can you be grateful today?

Source: Scrubs Mag

Topics: holiday shifts, enjoy, nurses, working holidays

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