Working during the festive season is an accepted part of the healthcare profession, with staff sacrificing holidays to ensure patients are cared for over Christmas. This means that important family traditions can be missed. We have put together a few tips to help healthcare professionals cope when working over the festive season:
- Prepare your loved ones
Explain to loved ones that you have to work and give them time to come up with ideas and plans to do around your work schedule. If you have children, let them know that Christmas is a time of giving and because people also become ill over Christmas, you will be helping to aid them in getting better.
2. Schedule in time with loved ones
Reschedule celebrations to suit the shift pattern. For example, move the opening of gifts to Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning. Have dinner or celebrate with loved ones after Christmas which gives you something to look forward to when working.
3. Utilise Christmas shopping hacks
Long shifts do not make Christmas shopping easy for Healthcare professionals However, there are ways to fit shopping around a busy schedule. Create a list of people to buy for and prepare gift ideas in advance. Try to visit or shop online in stores where all presents can be bought at once. And don’t forget, gift cards and experience presents are often cherished by loved ones.
4. Create workplace traditions
Bring a festive atmosphere into the ward by putting up decorations if permitted. Hold a Secret Santa gift exchange with colleagues, bring in festive treats or if working Christmas Day, arrange a pot-luck meal where staff can contribute dishes and snacks for everyone to enjoy on breaks.
5. Make the day special for patients
Being in hospital over the festive season is not ideal for patients. If permitted decorating the ward and wearing something in the spirit of the season could help bring some festive cheer to patients. If possible, try to spend some extra time with those patients who may not receive any visitors.
A big thank you to all of our healthcare professionals who are working over the festive season this year, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.