Holiday shifts are inevitable as a travel nurse. If you’re having a particularly difficult time accepting this, there are ways to bring out and maintain your inner Buddy the Elf during your shifts.
Travel Nurse Tips for Holiday Shifts
Positive Vibes Only
First, just think how lucky you are to have a job! A job that helps others, no less. In fact, your presence may be giving a fellow coworker an opportunity to spend some quality time with their loved ones. Holiday shifts are definitely something to be proud of. Own it!
Feeling pumped, yet? Great! Now let those positive vibes translate into your work. Be extra kind to your fellow coworkers and patients. A great deal of them, patients especially, would much rather be anywhere else. If you want to commit, be one of those nurses and throw on holiday inspired scrubs and jingle bell earrings. It will surely make someone smile.
Find the Loopholes
The foolproof way to enjoy the holidays, when you’re actually scheduled to work, is to reschedule. Reschedule the holiday, that is, not your shift. Call up family and friends and see if they are willing to move up the celebrations to coincide with your schedule. If that’s something that can’t be done, no problem. Host your own little gathering with whoever is able to make it. Far from home, and that’s not possible either? You can still spend some quality with your loved ones via video calls. Have a gingerbread house competition. Play some holiday-inspired games. Pictionary, charades, Who Am I? (or Heads Up), and the Last Letter games are just a few you can play.
Whatever you choose to do, be sure to avoid FOMO and resist the temptation to check your social media. Nothing will stop the positive vibes faster than pictures and posts of everyone else enjoy their holiday.
Don’t Stop Now
It is no easy job to be a nurse. And the stress and anxiety that comes with holidays do not make it any easier. Lift your coworkers’ spirits in any way you can. Plan a potluck, Secret Santa, or small games that can be played throughout the day like Elf on the Shelf or guess how many chestnuts are in the jar during these holiday shifts. Hand out cards or even post-its to spread the holiday cheer and to let them know they are appreciated.
Lastly, Don’t Forget About the Patients
Not like you need reminding, but the patients could use some of those positive vibes and holiday spirit you’ve just acquired. Go above and beyond by decorating patient rooms, handing out small gifts like cards or candy, and hum a Christmas carol or two. Seize the opportunity of working holiday shifts by providing much more than just care. Get to know your patients better by asking what gifts they are hoping to receive, what’s their favorite holiday traditions. Take note from these student nurses who brought in the holiday spirit to brighten up some lonely patients’ days.
Make sure you’re getting the most out of the holidays, even if you’re scheduled to work, with this handy checklist! Bring it with you to your holiday shifts. Share it with other coworkers.
- Be extra kind to coworkers and patients who rather be anywhere else but here
- Show your commitment with some holiday-inspired scrubs and/or accessories
- Reschedule or make the holiday come to you. Find a way to celebrate it!
- Avoid social media
- Lift your coworkers’ spirits and plan something fun!
- Do something nice that’ll put a smile on your patients’ faces
Let us know what you’ve done in past or what you would add to the checklist in the comments section below!