As healthcare professionals, our services and expertise are required on every day of the year by those who rely on our care. This means that even during holiday periods, the care we administer is just as important if not more so, to support those in need.
Working for a healthcare agency means that you have the flexibility to choose your work schedule, giving you the freedom to spend time with your family and friends, or decide to take advantage of the great public holiday rates. If you are available to work over the Christmas and New Year period, we’ve put together some top tips for staying festive at work during the holiday season.
Add a little jingle to your uniform
Perhaps you have some festive, coloured hair scrunchies a sparkly brooch or even some Christmas studs to add to your uniform. If you’re working in the community, you may even like to add a Santa hat to bring a smile to your patients and clients.
Take some treats to share with your colleagues
Even if you are visiting a new facility to cover a holiday shift, it’s nice to take in some festive treats to share with the team. You don’t have to be a fancy baker, store-bought bickies will do just fine, but if you like to bake, show off your skills with your favourite holiday recipe that you can make in advance. Here are some of our favourites.
Organise a gift exchange
If you’re working a regular shift, you may choose to get your colleagues involved in a Secret Santa. It can be hard to get everyone together to swap gifts so asking people to purchase a generic gift that can be picked from a lucky dip during break time would be a great option.
Your colleagues and patients would all have their own holiday traditions with their families. It’s a great opportunity to share those stories and traditions with each other and reflect on years past or exciting plans for the future. It’s a great way to learn about how other cultures celebrate, so ask around and see what you can learn about their holiday festivities. Maybe you can adopt a new tradition of your own.
Celebrate on a different day
Plan in advance with your family and schedule an event before or after Christmas day so that you can be involved. Keeping everyone informed of your plans and why you are working at Christmas means that you can still have an enjoyable celebration without feeling like you are missing out. Let any kids in your life know that you are away from them because others need care and you are in the spirit of helping those in need. Their sacrifice of time with you means, that they are also helping those in need.
Remember, your patients are missing out too, so involve them in the festivities
For those that you care for, holidays throughout the year can be a difficult time. They too are often separated from their families on special occasions, so as well as providing exceptional clinical care, putting a smile on their faces might give them a boost to enjoy the day. Prepare a joke, a story or gift them a treat. If you can spend some extra time lifting their spirits, it will make everyone’s day a little brighter.
Spend your penalty rates on something special
It’s likely that you’ve decided to work during the holidays because, let’s face it, the pay is amazing! Whatever you might be saving for, whether it’s a holiday in the new year, a home, or just to make sure the day-to-day is covered, make sure you spend some of your hard-earned holiday rates on yourself. You’ve sacrificed time away from the people you love to invest in the health and well-being of others, so treat yourself!
Video call your family on your break
If you’re not too swamped, make sure to check in on those you love during your break. Video call your family to see what they’re up to and how they’re celebrating so that you don’t feel too left out.
Don’t forget – you matter and what you are doing is important
The people you are caring for at work rely on you to make their lives easier and the best it can be for their health and well-being. This makes you so important in their lives and to society as a whole. Although you may not be spending time with the people you care for most, this year, you are caring for others to make their days better and your shift will soon come to an end.
You’re not alone
Thousands of healthcare workers across the country will be putting on their uniforms on Christmas Day and heading to their shifts. It can be hard to leave home, but know that you’re not alone and are part of a significant cohort of professional and dedicated people who place the care of every individual at the heart of their profession. We thank you and hope you make the most of your holiday shifts.