Being a Nurse at Christmas
Being a nurse during the holidays is sometimes difficult. My patients know what time of year it is and want to be home with family in the warmth of traditional holiday surroundings and decorations. To the best of our abilities we, as nurses try to make this happen through early discharges and temporary leave for the day or even leave for a couple of hours. But there are times when patients are stuck. Hopefully it is for happy reasons like the birth of a child, but more often than not the patients are facing the holidays with heavy hearts and long roads of healing ahead.
Nurses are here to help with physical healing as well as mental and spiritual healing. Sometimes a patient’s health can be deeply impacted just by a positive attitude and or an uplifting moment.
During the Christmas holidays, visits from Santa, carolers and friends and family dropping by, all help to keep the patient focus positive. Many charitable organizations donate toys, presents and even personalized Christmas stockings full of fun to adults and children who will be spending the holiday in the hospital.
The best gifts are personalized with names or are heart-touching like music boxes and cards; but for patients even the smallest of things can be quite uplifting when they are away from family, homes and longtime traditions.
There are many organizations you can donate gifts or money to which will help the nursing and medical communities lift up the spirits of our patients such as:
- The Forgotten Patient Christmas Project
- The United Methodist Women
- Mitchell Thorp Foundation
- Nemours Child Life Program In Orlando
To find out how to donate to your local hospital, simply go to the hospitals main website and search “how to donate” or contact them by phone. All hospitals have some kind of holiday programs and they are always looking for help.
As a nurse at Christmas, I feel privileged to be here with the patients during the holidays. I try to decorate the halls and often hum while doing rounds. It is my gift to work during the holidays and provide patients with stories and listen to the patient’s stories of Christmas traditions. To hear about family gatherings, special personal gifts or funny events of people’s lives is something I cherish. Being a nurse at Christmas is special.