Stethoscope and pine tree and gold ornaments on a white background Christmas for nurses decor
Mental Wellness

Making the Most of Working Holidays in Healthcare

4 Minute Read


Working as a nurse is a selfless career spent caring for the well-being of others, and that care doesn’t stop during the holiday season. As a healthcare professional, you’ve likely worked a Christmas before, or maybe you’re preparing for your first working holiday this year. While illnesses and emergencies don’t rest for the holidays, there are still a few ways you can make working Christmas as a nurse a little more joyful.

5 Ways to Make Working Holidays in Healthcare Merry & Bright

1. Be a Source of Joy for Your Patients

While working the holidays can feel like a bummer, it’s an even worse feeling to be a patient stuck at the hospital over Christmas. There’s no going home for some patients at the end of the shift, but your presence at the hospital ensures they receive the continuous care they need. So, try to muster up some holiday spirit to share with your patients throughout the day. You can brighten both their day and yours by turning on festive music on the unit floor, making homemade decorations to spruce up their rooms, or taking a few minutes to help them video call their loved ones. Knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of those in need can be a source of fulfillment as you work the holiday.

2. Participate in Holiday Festivities on the Unit

The seasonal fun doesn’t have to stop there. Get together with your coworkers on the unit to make the holiday well-spent at work. Plan a potluck where everyone brings a favorite dish or take it up a notch by giving your potluck a theme, like a rainbow potluck where everyone brings a food that matches a chosen color or a last name potluck where everyone has to bring a dish that begins with the first letter of their last name. Make the holiday at work even more exciting and plan a Secret Santa with your coworkers to bring a little extra fun and cheer to the unit.

3. Enjoy a Relaxed Atmosphere or New Experiences

Depending on what unit you’re in, your working holiday might be less chaotic, or it could be filled with new experiences. Most people would rather stay at home for non-emergency care instead of heading for the hospital on Christmas and doctors usually don’t schedule procedures. That being said, if you’re floated to a unit that needs helping hands, make the most out of getting the chance to take on new experiences and see how things work on a different floor! You might discover a new nursing specialty that you love.

4. Cash in on Holiday Pay

Depending on the facility and whether or not you are on staff, you could be raking in some extra cash by working the holiday. Some institutions offer double-time pay, while others provide a flat rate or a percentage increase on your regular hourly wage. Ask your nurse manager if you’re offered these incentives for working the holiday, and it can make your shift a little merrier.

5. Treat Yourself

When your shift is over, make sure there’s something special waiting for you at home. Whether that’s something on our list of the best Christmas gifts for nurses or it’s a glass of your favorite bubbly and a delicious meal, give yourself a little treat for spending the holiday at work. You deserve it.



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