“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas is just a little bit more..”
-Dr. Seuss (The Grinch who stole Christmas)
Today I spent the day at work, surrounded by wonderful co-workers, families and a slew of wonderful children at the IWK Health Centre. People always ask me if it is hard to work on Christmas and my reply is always the same; I say no, the children’s hospital is a wonderful place to be at Christmas time.
As nurses, we do many things for patients that they are unable to do for themselves when they are hospitalized. And although those do include stereotypical things such as bathing and providing medications, we also support them on their hardest days and advocate for them when they are unable to do so for themselves. We keep them company when they are alone and often titrate the very medications and mechanical devices that are keeping their vital signs stable and those that are sometimes even keeping them alive. We sit at their bedside with worried, furrowed brows and we lose sleep over shifts that don’t end as well as we hoped. We become entwined very quickly in a person and their families lives and often get a glimpse into their private world. If we are good at our job, we do all of the above with dignity and respect.
In a hospital, a holiday is just like every other day. Infections do not rest, cancer doesn’t magically go away for a couple of days and the sick don’t get to go home in the hopes that Santa snuck down their chimney while they were snug in their beds. That is why as nurses and health care professionals, we do our very best to make Christmas as special and as normal as it can be. In children’s hospital’s we go above and beyond to keep the mood upbeat. We try in our own ways to make the day special and make sure everyone is surrounded by love and support. That is why when people ask me if it is hard to work on Christmas, my reply is always the same; I say no, the hospital is a wonderful place to be during the holidays and I am honoured to be able to do all of the things that I do during such a special time of year.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you were all able to spend the holiday surrounded by the people and traditions that you love! Sending special warm wishes to all health care professionals and public servants that spent the day keeping the world safe and bright!