It’s that time of year again when patients and their families are relying on us to bring excellent nursing care along with a little holiday cheer to the bedside. Of course we will be faced with the normal stressors of nursing, along with the possibility of being bummed out because our holiday shift bidding didn’t go as planned – but let’s make the best of our holiday shifts and bring our colleagues, patients and their families the warmth and joy of the season with these three easy strategies:
Live in the light of Gratitude
Start your day by giving thanks for all that you have. It’s easy to get used to all of the comforts that we’ve worked our butts off to get, but we should always be wise to give thanks for what we have that’s going right for us, rather than focusing on the negative. One easy way to do this is to consider the fact that we get to go home to our families at the end of our shift, and that our patients very well may not. We should also be grateful that we have the opportunity and capabilities to provide a service to our patients and their families during the holidays. So when you’re feeling frustrated or feeling down because you are not with your family during your shifts, just think about all the things you are grateful for and your spirits will soon be lifted!
Share in the Joy of the Season
Whether it be caroling on the unit, making holiday cards for your patients, or participating in a pot-luck holiday lunch, be sure to join in on the festivities! We all know that organizing a pot-luck luncheon for staff in a healthcare facility can be a challenge, but when we finally get that chance to break free from patient care to grab a bite to eat – NOTHING is better than having a home cooked holiday meal! So instead of being a Grinch because you are stuck at work during the holidays – make sure you have a little fun by sharing in the Joy of the season!
Plan to Spend More Quality Time with Your Patients
Nothing means more to a patient and their family than a nurse or nursing assistant who spends a lot of quality time with them. Patients often complain that they get to see their healthcare providers and nursing staff far less than they would like, and this often impacts patient satisfaction scores. In order to bring your patients and their families some of that Holiday Spirit, plan to spend a little more time with them. Engaging in conversation about their holiday traditions, about their family members, and even what they plan to do after they are discharged (if that is possible) will really help to brighten up their stay, and help to pass the time. It’s understandable that you’ll find yourself busy per the usual, but finding an extra 30 minutes to an hour per patient will mean the world to them!
So if you find yourself working this holiday season, be sure to implement these three EASY strategies to help you bring holiday cheer to the bedside!