Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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6 Surprising Perks of Working Holidays as a Health Professional

When you head into work as a health professional, you never know what to expect, and that feeling multiplies on a major holiday. In some healthcare settings, your responsibilities will slow down, but for others, they hit warp speed. (We’re lookin’ at you, Critical Care and Emergency Medicine…)

RELATED: 7 Tips from Health Professionals Who’ve Been There to Get Through Working Major Holidays

One thing you can count on, though, is that you will experience some positive moments that day, if you take the time to look for them. Here are some surprising benefits of working holidays, shared by clinicians and other HCPs around the web.

Fewer staff agreements

An inevitable perk is the “we’re all in this together” attitude. As one nurse shared during a recent #TweetRN chat, healthcare staff tends to come together. Another nurse added that his unit’s token grouch would even be in a good mood. Thank goodness for holiday spirit!

Fewer chores when you’re off

As one clinician recalled in a Daily Nursing blog, “When I had to work Thanksgiving, my family would take sympathy on me, I never had to cook nor clean and had dinner waiting for me when I got home.” Some times pity can be a good thing — who knew?!

More one-on-one time with patients

This isn’t the case for every setting, of course, but many see a lighter patient load on the holidays. That means getting to know your patients better, additional time for empathy, addressing discharge concerns, assessing the patient’s emotional wellbeing (especially important during the holidays) and more.

More relaxed environment

Don’t believe working in a healthcare setting can ever be relaxed? Well, thanks to the ever-popular employee potluck, it’s hard to be stressed out when you’re full of turkey.

Overtime pay

Does this require any more explanation? You can make up to double what you would normally, in addition to knowing you’re providing a vital service on a day where no one else would, which brings us to the last point…

Focusing on the importance of your work

Burnout happens for many reasons, but most of them tie back to not feeling fulfilled in your work. And during a time of year all about gratitude and giving back, it should be easier to remind yourself that you help others every day.

RELATED: 9 Creative Ways to Thank Your Colleagues Working Thanksgiving (So You Don’t Have To)

“You’re protecting vulnerable people,” notes psychologist and author of Thriving in Healthcare Wayne M. Sotile. “When you ponder the incredible contribution you get to make — and that it’s far better to work during Hanukkah or Christmas than to be hospitalized during this time — it can shift your mindset to one of gratitude. It’s a psychological trick, but it works.”

What’s your favorite part about working on a major holiday? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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