There is nothing more heartwarming than spending the holidays surrounded by friends and family sharing wonderful meals, presents and stories. But for many families, their loved one is away working in a hospital or care facility meeting the needs of others and trying to spread a little holiday cheer. As we celebrate the holidays, let’s not forget the men and women who sacrifice to provide hope and healing for so many. While most businesses might be closed for Christmas and New Year’s Day, hospitals and care facilities aren’t; sickness, aging and accidental injuries don’t take a day off, and neither do those charged with providing care.

I was amazed by the loving spirit I observed during the year I worked at our local hospital, but never more impressed than when the holidays came. The corridors echoed with ho-ho-hos and many of the staff adorned themselves with ornaments and Santa hats. While it can be tough to be away from the family during a major holiday, here are some ideas  for nurses and other care providers that can make the day better:

  • Be festive at work – it will raise your spirits and those around you, including patients
  • Play holiday music
  • Share a holiday potluck or meal
  • Take heart that you are helping those who must be in the facility to smile and know someone cares
  • Be thankful that you get to go home to your family and friends when your shift ends
  • Celebrate the holiday with our friends or family on a different day

The rest of us can make those holiday shifts a little brighter for care givers and their patients:

  1. Bring some baked goods for the staff
  2. Deliver some thank you cards
  3. Find ways to volunteer at hospitals and care facilities
  4. Put a note on the Thank-a-Nurse Facebook page

Sources for this article:

California Casualty

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