Today nursing during Christmas has moved on from attaching sprigs of holly to rows of beds and encompasses the community too. Here staff share their experiences and photos from working over the festive season.
“I’m a theatre nurse in a maternity unit. My Christmas Day will involve seeing my boys in the morning after my night shift and then sleeping to make sure I’m fully rested for the Christmas night shift. Each baby is special but it is always exciting working on Christmas Eve to see when we will have our first Christmas baby. I love my job and it’s such a privilege to be there when a baby is born, sharing that special moment and ensuring safe, effective patient-centred care for mum, baby and birthing partner.”
“I’m a specialist practitioner district nurse working in Kelso in the Scottish Borders. I’m attached to a GP practice and have a current caseload of around 100 patients. The majority of my work on Christmas Day will be scheduled care aimed at meeting patients’ needs at home safely.
“The best thing about it is the patients. Many of them may not see anyone else over the festive period and are so pleased to see us. It’s a privilege to be invited into a person’s home to make their day a bit brighter even if it is only for a short while.
“The most challenging aspect is seeing the loneliness of some of the patients. It’s often a time when older people especially feel they have been forgotten, or they miss loved ones who have passed. I love my job and I get great job satisfaction when I know I have helped make a difference.”
Picture submitted by Marianne Ingham
“I work in a specialist orthopaedic hospital and on Christmas Day late shift I will be the clinical site co-ordinator for my trust. I’ll be supporting the staff on the wards to provide care for those patients unable to return home and to welcome their relatives into the hospital. There is usually Christmas music playing and hopefully we will make Christmas as cheerful as possible. Naturally I’ll miss spending Christmas Day with my family but we’ll certainly make up for it on Boxing Day.”
Jo Turton, ward sister
Picture submitted by Roxana Ioana Moldovan
“As a specialist nurse in tissue donation, this Christmas Day I will be speaking to the acutely bereaved who want their loved one to be a donor, gaining consent from them according to the Human Tissue Act, triaging potential donors, speaking to coroners if required and arranging donations.”
Picture submitted by Laura Bradley
“I’ll be working a day shift on a neonatal intensive care unit from 7.15am, supporting parents to care for their baby as he or she spends their first Christmas in an incubator or special care cot. One of my tasks will be to make sure there is a present for the babies (and siblings, if any) at the end of every incubator and a card from every baby with a picture of them for their family to treasure. I’ll also be crossing my fingers that we don't get unexpected emergency deliveries so that we can grab a quick bite to eat at some point and counting myself lucky that if I have to work on Christmas Day, at least I have a brilliant team of colleagues to work alongside.”
Jane Munro, staff nurse
Picture submitted by Sue Kilar
“I work on a busy children's ward in our district general hospital. I'm on the late shift on Christmas Day so my husband and I plan to get up and open presents with our girls and have a nice breakfast brunch before I leave for work. Boxing Day will be more presents and a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I love Christmas, obviously nobody wants to work it but somebody has to, and making it as nice a day as possible for all those families who can't be at home is a bit special really isn't it?”
Kat Jones, paediatric nurse
Thousands of people who work over the festive period will be sharing their stories on social media this Christmas. Why not add yours and using #WorkingOverChristmas - don't forget to include @theRCN
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