So, you just realized that as a registered nurse you will be working over the holidays and wonder how this could possibly be fun. Well, relax and get ready to have some fun. The hard work of nursing school and studying for the NCLEX-RN are over, you survived the interviews and now it is time to have some fun on the job.
Acceptance and Positive Attitude
The first step is to accept the inevitable, which is that nurses are required to work on the holidays. Nurses are essential team members who ensure patients make a speedy recovery. When entering nursing, you must be aware that in most jobs nurses are required around the clock 365 days a year. While some nurses may be lucky and be off on the holidays, the majority of nurses will be working on some of the major holidays. Once you have accepted this reality, try and stay positive. If you show up to work with a smile on your face and a positive attitude, hopefully it will impact others, especially the patients in a positive way.
Your colleagues often become like a second family, as for you will be spending a great deal of time with them. Other nurses will understand how you feel and what you are going through, especially on difficult days and you will need to lean on them and trust them.
Since you are all working this holiday season, plan to have some fun while you are there. Dress up in holiday attire or colors if permitted. Simply adding a little color, can brighten up how you feel and make your patient’s smile. Plan a pot-luck meal for your shift and invite all team members to participate. This makes everyone feel welcomed and important. It will provide you all with the opportunity to relax and get to know one another a little better. You can learn a great deal about one’s background by the dish he or she prepares. I was always the baker on the unit, so desserts were my specialty. The team always got excited when I walked in with a container of treats, and it would make them smile even on the toughest days.
Brighten Your Patient’s Day
Patients are usually disappointed about being in the hospital on holidays as well. So, you cheer them up by celebrating with them. Learn which holidays are important to your patients and then think of ways to make them feel special. Perhaps, hang a sign in their room or decorate their room, play holiday music, have pastoral care visit them, include them in unit celebration or activities. Holiday activities are not just for children, everyone enjoys a little fun. Think of ways to safely have fun on your unit and get your patient up and moving safely. Create challenges where patients need to walk around and locate holiday items, for example the elf on the shelf, a certain number of candles for Hanukkah, eggs for Easter, gold coins for St. Patrick’s Day, or flags for patriotic days. Play simple games, like bowling using water bottle for pins decorated for the holiday, snow ball toss, beach ball volleyball, or basketball competitions. Most of these cost very little money, can be done safely and will get your patients involved and active. Be creative and have fun which will brighten everyone’s day.