As nurses (and other healthcare professionals), we get caught up in the drawbacks of the holidays. Our job doesn’t really change just because there are three major holidays back to back. The hospital doesn’t have holiday hours. Illness and injury don’t take a holiday. The unwell still need attention, and we have a job to do.
We get so stuck on the concept of having to work the holiday. We harp on how much it sucks being a nurse having to work your shift on a special occasion. We get so wrapped up in the negativity that the passive-aggressiveness starts to consume us.
I’m just as guilty as the next person. I want to spend time with my loved ones. I want to enjoy my holidays with those who are close to my heart, but I chose this profession. I made a conscious decision. I am a nurse. Part of my job is sacrifice. This job truly is a calling. It’s times like these when you realize why.
We provide service to others when they need it most. We save lives. We are needed and not everyone can do what we do. So be thankful.
I thought of 10 things we can be thankful for this holiday season.
1. Your health: Did you wake up today? Congrats, you get another chance. You’re still here.
2. Your education: Many will never get the chance to increase their knowledge. You are unique.
3. Your age: Enjoy your years. Many never make it this far.
4. Your friends: It’s not the number, but the quality. Loneliness can be debilitating.
5. Your family: No matter how diverse and disconnected they may be, some don’t get that chance.
6. Your job: Think about this economy. Many would love to have your “horrible” job.
7. Your colleagues: Sure, they aren’t all the cat’s meow, but many would love the chance to have that problem.
8. Your profession: There is a level of fear you do not possess because you are a nurse. How scary is sickness?
9. Professional opportunities: You’re not stuck. You have choices. You have options. All at very little cost or effort.
10. Respect: As a nurse, your opinion matters. Your words are heard. Whether you believe it or not.
This is an awesome profession. We get to do some of the most amazing things, meet some of the most amazing people and ultimately we impact human lives in a way that no one else can. Celebrate that this holiday season. Emphasize the good. And do your best to squash whatever negativity crosses your path. Be proud. Be a nurse.
And remember, today you weren’t the patient.
Happy holidays to you and yours.