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How are you celebrating Christmas on your ward this year?

Posted by:

10 December, 2012

When I was a student nurse we put up the ward decorations a week before Christmas, and brewed mulled wine in the ward kitchens. We wore our capes inside out, showing the red lining, as we walked from the nurses’ home on Christmas morning.

This year we want to know how you celebrate Christmas with your patients.

Readers' comments (17)

  • Well, there is a christmas tree, not much else will be done. No Christmas 'do' for the staff because no one can be bothered to organise one. Oh yes lots of christmas spirit evident here!!!

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  • we don't have decorations in our theatre dept cos it's a fire risk.

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  • we're going to have a real knees-up, drink loads of mulled wine and stuff our faces with mince pies. then we will sing lots of carols - seriously folks, I expect I will wash and dress patients, serve them Christmas lunch, do the drug-round, obs, pretty much the same as every other day.

    I might just get lucky and have tea and a mince-pie.

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  • Oh Eileen, such fond memories I have of Christmas past on the wards. The consultants dressing up and carving the turkey, a side ward full of goodies for the staff on their break, (made sure we got one), and yes there was the odd alcoholic drink too (not acceptable these days, but we never killed anyone). Sherry for patients at lunchtime. Christmas party for patients and visitors on Boxing Day

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  • Trying to manage the eight bedded high dependency unit (whose beds are snapped up by A&E and are therefore never empty...) with only two staff- I can't wait!

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  • clearing up the mess of falling needles!

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  • anon 11.25 - or clearing up the mess of noro.

    we are not allowed food in the office anymore, when there is noro on the ward no-one would want to eat or drink anything anyway.

    i used to like it when the Sally Army came round, you don't see them so much these days.

    we still buy all the patients a present, give out mince pies but I don't think they get alcohol unless it's bought in by the family.

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  • tinkerbell

    I loved Christmas on the wards, especially when the salvation army came round to play christmas carols for our elderly folk. It nearly always brought tears to my eyes. The OT's always wrapped up the presents for everyone on the ward and we gave them out christmas morning. The OT's excelled themselves putting up our decorations and trees.

    This christmas i'm in a CPN office. It's all a bit dreary in comparison. Every so often one of the staff jumps up from their laptop and exclaims 'that's it' and storms out of the room. They return sometime later wuth a box of tissues. At first i use to gather round with the others and ask 'what's wrong'. Now i realise it's usually much ado about nothing so i have stopped asking and they say to me 'it's alright for you, you haven't been here long enough to get stressed out yet, you don't know what's going on'.

    Oh the bliss of not knowing. Make somebody happy today, mind your own business.

    Think i'll pop back to my old ward before christmas and see me old front line staff in the trenches who are so rushed off their poor old feet they haven't got time for tantrums.

    Stressed out, guess it's all relative and possibly addictive. Me and another CPN who's used to working the wards just look over at each other now when this jack in the box malarkey kicks off and just give each other a knowing look whilst i try to stifle a giggle, cos' that really wouldn't do down well at all. Next thing you know it would somehow end up being all my fault cos' i'm the new kid on the block and clueless.

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  • Florence

    A few years back the Christmas tree was banned due to Health & Safety laws. We have a limited amount of decorations. The Patients will recieve a present and the normal christmas lunch. Visiting will be more relaxed and hopefully some of our patients who are more able can go out with their families for part of the day.
    We aren't giving each other cards this year. Just giving one card for the whole team.We are making donations to a local hospice. We will be having a staff lunch/ all day sort of drop in session where we are all bringing in lots of nice food a few days before Christmas. Im usually on Pavalova and scone duty lol and have added Spiced muffins to my repetoire :). On the day itself our Ward Manager makes sure we have some nice food. Any of us on duty usually bring in some goodies too.
    Glad I seen this as its reminded me I need to have word with our Ward Clerk to see who is buying our Ward Manager & Sister flowers this year.
    I havent worked Christmas or a few years. I was in the clinic for 3 years and before that I tended to get the day off as my Husband who was in RAF back then had a horrible habit of being detatched away over that period. And I needed to be at home with Kyle. Im working night duty christmas eve and then have 3 days off. Im glad to be off. I think it will be the last year Kyle believes in Father Christmas.
    I will buy a little gift for the girls Im working with that night and bring in food like I said.
    The clinic next to my ward had a carol service where some of our patients were able to attend.
    I have no idea if Staff will recieve any gifts. And if we do how will it be funded ?
    We all at some point have to work over Christmas. I did lots of Christmas days before I had Kyle and I expect I will have many more to do again.

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  • we get a goodwill present of 10 pounds, we also get food vouchers so we can stuff our faces with crisps and pringles.

    staff get a free breakfast in the canteen, it would be nice if we got a free christmas lunch but obviously we don't - god forbid.

    the ward is usually very busy and sadly we often have very poorly patients.

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  • B R | 12-Dec-2012 10:56 pm

    I also remember some good old Christmas parties, but not all of them, as I often ended up the worse for wear.

    As far as I do remember, staff from the wards used to gather at whatever party was happening on the day, share a few laughs, and quite a few drinks, and them go merrily on their way, either home, or to the social club, which was also full of Christmas cheer, and cheap booze.

    Oh the Good old Days eh?

    The staff seemed much happier, and I`m sure it was not all down to the drink.

    Can`t remember what it was down to though ??????

    Any suggestions ??????

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  • tinkerbell

    Rudolph, not yet, you've peaked too soon.

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  • Tipperary Tim | 14-Dec-2012 2:45 pm

    Ah yes. So many good memories of hospital Christmas in days of old.....when patients and staff drank REAL alcohol (and patients smoked in the wards!) You are right. We were happier then.

    Rudolph | 13-Dec-2012 6:44 pm

    Loving your new pseudonym and avatar. Jingle, jingle. I left ward work a couple of years ago. It's a weird transition. I miss it and sometimes can almost forget how tough it was. Hang on in there. Things will get better.

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  • Erm i don't work on a ward. There are lots of nurse who don't work on wards!

    But we did have our last christmas 'do'......we are to be made redundant in april....thanks cameron.

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  • "How are you celebrating Christmas on your ward this year?"

    I don't work on a ward either, but I used to and I do remember my Christmas shifts, particularly as a student and young staff nurse. Don't think it's the same nowadays.

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  • P. Damien | 15-Dec-2012 10:23 am

    "But we did have our last christmas 'do'......we are to be made redundant in april....thanks cameron."

    That's bad news P. Sorry to hear it. Are they even looking at redeployment for you?

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  • My ward is due to close this week & half the staff still don't have a job to go to & haven't been told whether or not they will be entitled to redundancy pay.

    Happy Christmas - I don't think so!!

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