Are you yet to experience your first working Christmas? It’s not as bad as you imagine, explains student editor Rebecca
I love Christmas, it’s an excuse to eat a box of celebrations for breakfast while watching ‘The Snowman’ on TV.
But most importantly, Christmas is the time of the year where we all are supposed to be generous and giving.
But for us nurses the Christmas spirit lasts all year round, we never stop giving and we never stop being generous. This can be tiring and can lead to conflicts.
”For us nurses the Christmas spirit lasts all year round”
By the time the Christmas season has hit it’s easy for us nurses to feel as if we have run out of generosity. While most members of our communities will be postponed of all employment duties over the Christmas period, we nurses will still be working our festive bottoms off.
The reality is there will always be individuals who need our help and support over the festive season, the needs of those in our care don’t stop because it’s Christmas.
It’s true, nobody wants to be the one working on Christmas day while family and friends sit around the Christmas spread sipping mulled wine and arguing over the last pig in blanket.
”If we wanted a career where the Christmas period is a guaranteed week off then we would have become an estate agent or a school teacher”
But this is what we signed up to: working Christmas. If we wanted a career where the Christmas period is a guaranteed week off then we would have become an estate agent or a school teacher.
I have heard so many nurses while on placements at this time of year moaning about having to work Christmas and how ‘Judy’ with her thousand and one excuses aways manages to get it off.
These sorts of comments are enough to demoralise a workforce and even as a student nurse I have seen it happen. The heated conversations between colleagues do not reflect the generosity and natural kind nature of nurses and it seems that Christmas is the time of year that turns our morals upside down.
”The heated conversations between colleagues do not reflect the generosity and natural kind nature of nurses”
It’s easy for me to stand here on my soap box preaching about the importance of nurses working Christmas because I am yet to work Christmas after Christmas and spend it away from my family. I suppose that’s the beauty of being a student… right?
However I will be working over the Christmas season, I won’t be working as a learning disability nurse but I will be working as a support worker for a supported living charity.
This is something I think us student nurses should do, whether it be paid or voluntary. Our placements don’t cover the Christmas period and I think it’s important to get a true insight into how Christmas works in the real working environment. It also won’t be as much as a shock to us when we qualify and do have to work the festive season.
”With the build up to Christmas week I can feel myself slowly starting to regret agreeing to work over Christmas”
With the build up to Christmas week I can feel myself slowly starting to regret agreeing to work over Christmas, however I’m certain that the magic of Christmas expressed by those I support is enough to ignite the spark of motivation lost over this festive season.
In a few years time when you’re qualified and feeling as if the world is against you at Christmas, please over that bottle of wine you’re drinking to drown your sorrows after your shift reflect upon the Christmases past and how much the individuals you supported appreciated you being there for them.
There’s no better gift at Christmas than appreciation for all that you do.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.