5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season for Nurses

The holiday season is here and many facilities and units are having holiday parties and “Secret Santas” to exchange gifts. You may also want to buy a special gift for that co-worker who has always been there to lend an extra hand or kind ear, or something thoughtful for your supervisor to wish them a Happy Holiday Season. You may be preparing to attend the hospital ball or another holiday party during this time. It is important to understand how to handle all of these situations – as they are workplace situations and not just holiday ones.


Tip #1: Buying holiday gifts in the workplace can be tough. It isn’t like buying gifts for family and friends, where you likely know everything about their likes and dislikes. Certain gifts in the workplace may be frowned upon; some workplaces do not encourage co-workers to give alcohol during the holiday season (champagne or other spirits for New Year’s Eve for example). So it is far easier to stick with a “safe and workplace-friendly gift” than to choose something that may inspire a conversation with your supervisor or Human Resources.


Tip #2: Follow any gift giving guidelines set by your unit, department or facility. Some workplaces have guidelines in place about gift giving. They may say that participation in the “Secret Santa” is voluntary and this is the only gift giving that will be done. Or your department may decide to set a dollar amount on a gift exchange. Or you may even decide to forego gifts and donate to charity or focus on buying gifts for your children for the holidays. Be sure to follow the guidelines that are set by your department as this can avoid any hurt feelings or disappointment.


Tip #3: Showing a little Holiday Spirit is good for workplace morale – too much is a cause for concern. If your hospital has a winter or holiday ball or your department or unit has a holiday party, it is quite helpful that you make the effort to go unless you are scheduled to work. Attending a holiday party can feel like “forced” entertainment and admittedly, this is how a lot of people feel about this type of gathering because it is not like socializing with close friends or family. But if you go, you have an opportunity to connect with people who work in other departments, those who are in positions much higher than you and to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season. This is the perfect time to make a favorable impression on the people you work with – not the time to perfect your “electric slide.”


Tip #4: Sometimes the holidays aren’t easy, but it is critical that you care for yourself. Nurses work in a caring profession, taking care of others. You probably will come into contact with patients who are having a tough time with the holidays. If you are having a tough time with the holidays, this may not make the holidays feel any easier for you. During the holidays do what you can to give yourself a little extra “TLC.” Take a few hours, just for yourself and see a movie you’ve wanted to see or do something fun. Try to laugh everyday. Get proper nutrition, exercise and sleep. Seek out professional help and your caring friends if you need more.


Tip #5: The holiday season is the perfect time to think of those who need your help the most. Many try to do charity work or donate to charity during the holidays. As a nurse, time may be precious to you but there are still things you can do. Consider donating your old winter coat to a coat drive so someone will stay warm this winter. Donate food to a food drive. Donate a children’s toy to Toys for Tots or your children’s unit of the hospital. Sometimes doing something for others during the holiday season can be the very best thing to do during the holidays!


About Saleem Mohammed
PROFESSIONAL PROFILE: I have substantial experience in Healthcare Marketing and PR, Human Resources Management, Medical Staffing, Outsourcing & Backroom Office Establishment and Management, Healthcare Account Management, and Multimedia Marketing. My recruitment experience covers nurses, therapists and other allied healthcare workers that are sourced all over US and overseas. As BDO, I brought a start-up company to its highest revenue mark, expanded its menu of services, designed & streamlined HR procedures and built effective cost-cutting measures. SPECIALTIES include, but is not limited to: Healthcare Marketing, Human Resources Management, Medical Staffing, Staffing Coordinator, Healthcare Recruitment, Account Management, Business Development, Healthcare Sales and Pricing Strategy, HR Training & Development, Career Coaching

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