Friday, December 10, 2010

Nurses: Got The "Working Christmas" Blues? 10 Ways to Banish It!

I have to work Christmas.

What a terrible thought to have ringing in your head for the next few weeks!

Nursing is one of those careers – just like most of the “helping” professions – where someone has to work the holidays. 

Even after twenty years of nursing, I am always a little surprised when someone is caught off guard because they have to work a holiday shift.

Perhaps people are caught off guard because Christmas has been made such a huge deal in our society.

Most people spend more time planning Christmas every year than planning their lives.

Our craziness is encouraged by department stores that seem to move their sale days up each year. Soon we will be shopping for holiday specials alongside lawn care.

We are conditioned to believe that this single day – Christmas Day – will produce the perfect miracle: laughing families, grateful children and restored relationships. The reality is that rarely happens. It is just another day, maybe even a stressful day, made harder by broken promises, unrealistic expectations and a touch of old fashion family tension. 

Maybe we need to “reframe” the meaning of Christmas.

Even though celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day is special in many ways, we don’t have to dread working the holiday shift. The holidays are too short to be bitter or disappointed because of our work schedule.

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Andrew Lopez, RN
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