Its that time again! Working Christmas???

  1. Soooo...I worked Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. I have both off this year Our ER has tried really hard to be fair in who works what. Usually the newest staff work Christmas. That means that whoever was last hired is automatically on for Christmas. (which is why I worked it last year)

    I had never worked Christmas before and it nearly broke my heart...But, after posting something here, I waaaaay got over it I recieved many replies that basically said "Christmas is any day you make it" I actually enjoyed working Christmas last year. Lot's of actually sick pt's! My family had Christmas the day AFTER and it was really fun.

    This year in our unit was difficult. Here is the scoop. Two nurses were hired at exactly the same time. The Christmas shift was filled by nurses who volunteered to work except for one slot. So, our poor director had to choose one nurse to work. The first new nurse has "little kids" ages 2 and 3. The second new nurse has a husband who has been in Iraq for the past two Christmases and a new grandchild to see. The first nurse (with "little kids") was scheduled for Christmas. ohmyholycow...She pitched a FIT. Crying and throwing things in the break room about how "she has little kids" It was a scene. She went down the schedule and realized that many of us have both holidays off and really went crazy.

    Anyhow...What do you think was "fair" She managed to throw enough of a hissy fit that our director posted the position as "open" and another nurse actually wanted to trade for Thanksgiving... I just thought the nurse throwing a hissy was ridiculous.

    Thoughts?
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  2. 92 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I just love the "but I have little kids" tantrums. But like you said, at first if broke your heart, but you got over it. This nurse will too.

    Throwing a hissy fit is never appropriate. I'd really hate to see her rewarded with the day off for throwing a tantrum, but unfortunately sometimes that how it works. Rather than deal with the tantrum people just want her to shut up and give in. She should be written up. Yeah, it's not "fair", but life in nursing isn't always fair.

    We haven't got our schedule yet, but there's bound to be some unhappy people. Fortunately several of us, myself included, volunteered to work and there might not be any drama.
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 18, '06
  4. by   angel337
    working the holidays are hard. and yes, we all know that when we decide to do hospital nursing but it doesn't matter because it doesn't hit you until the holidays come. it is harder when you have small kids. i juts deal with it. i don't throw a fit or act crazy. i just do my requirement and make the most of it.
  5. by   CVICURN2003
    I think throwing a "hissy fit" was a little much. But, I do understand the way she feels. I also understand that "everyone" has a family they want to celebrate Christmas with wehter you have been a nurse for 40 years and "worked every Christmas" or are a brand new nurse and never worked Christmas. That said, I hope that when my "little children" get older and understand "Santa Claus" I will volunteer to work so the people that still have little children where I work can be home with them when they wake up to celebrate however they choose to. This year I have to work the 3-11 Christmas Eve (whixh is just fine with me). Do you know how many single without children people are working 7a-3p that day? yes, I know, they have people they love and want to celebrate with too....but, I won't trade with them when they do have "little children". What comes around goes around.....Regardless, her little fit worked. I would have wanted to know why they chose "me" over the other employee who was hired the same time. Usually a deal can be worked out. You might have to work more "I'll work Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve if you'll work my Christmas Day...." At my hospital we work a holiday rotation, but people trade all the time. I tried to trade with one of those single people for the day of something important he wanted to do, he wouldn't trade...so he can (but did not) find someone else to work it for him and I will work my 3p11p Christmas Eve. What is she gonna do on Easter??? Maybe she needs to find a no holiday job until her kids are older. But, I understand her feelings. I think she should be written up too. Plus, she looked like a jerk in front of all of her co workers that have worked Holidays....(like me)
    Last edit by CVICURN2003 on Nov 18, '06 : Reason: Add a thought....
  6. by   maryloufu
    The hissy fit does sound unprofessional. If her kids are that young then they won't even realize what day Christmas is. This is my first year to work- and amazingly I got Christmas and Thanksgiving- but I expected to get neither. (In fact I was looking forward to holiday pay!) I think it was not a good move for the director to give in to her. What happens when other people decide they are not happy with the schedule they get,or maybe someone else gets the break time they want or the patients they get assigned. Bad bad news.
  7. by   meownsmile
    We are usually scheduled every other major holiday. When my kids were little they were up and had everything open and done by the time i had to go to work. Yes, they were early risers and things were usually over before 630AM. I didnt really miss anything else, the fights over someone hording the new stuff, or someone broke this or that, or its mine fights.
    I do enjoy being able to be off Christmas, Thanksgiving etc now that my kids are older too. It is more about being together now, not just Santa stuff.
  8. by   clemmm78
    when I was a young, single nurse, I volunteered to work Christmas but I volunteered for night shift, figuring that I could squeeze some day stuff in and just cut back on the sleep. My reasoning that others with family they wanted to spend time with, especially those with school-aged kids (not babies or toddlers) would appreciate having the day off.

    When I became a mom, I worked Christmas when the kids were babies and toddlers, because they have no clue about the actual day. Big deal if they celebrate it later in the day or the day before or after. However, when my kids were school-aged, I would have appreciated having Christmas off - but no-one ever gave me the same courtesy I had extended to others.

    Now, my kids are teens (15, 17 and 19) and I once again, voluntarily work nights on Christmas eve and Christmas day. I love my family with all my heart, but they're still sleeping when I get home from work in the morning, so I can get things ready, wake them up, open gifts and then share family time. I then go to sleep for a few hours and then have Christmas dinner at a relative's, and then on to work. I haven't lost any family time really.

    I may feel differently when grandchildren come into the equation, especially if my kids move away to another province, but then we'll deal with that when and if it happens.

    As for the nurse that through a hissy fit, I'm very sorry that she got her way. She just bullied everyone into giving her what she wanted. Nice thing to teach your kids.
    Last edit by clemmm78 on Nov 18, '06 : Reason: edited for clarity
  9. by   TazziRN
    Unfortunately that new nurse has learned that if you scream loud enough, you get your way. Very very immature......that's what "little kids" do. She brought herself down to her children's level, and not in a good way.

    At every job I've had it's always been the policy to take turns. Staffing keeps track of who worked which holiday and it alternates every year. This year I got lucky: I should be working Christmas but for the first time the number of staff in the ER exploded, and there were enough per d's who volunteered to work Christmas that most of the regular staff got it off. In my family holidays are rarely celebrated on the actual day; when my teens were small they were told that Santa comes on the night that people are able to celebrate, that he does this so that people like us can have Christmas too. We'll tell the toddler the same thing when she's old enough to know something's different.
  10. by   mtngrl
    My family celebrates more on Christmas Eve, that is when we go visiting and such. So that is the most important day for me. Since I do contract, I will not pick it to work. I will likely volunteer to work Christmas evening. I do have a child, she is a teen now. I know it can be heartbreaking to miss holidays with your family. But nursing is one of those jobs where we KNOW we are going to miss out on several holidays no matter what. If that woman that threw the "fit" hates working holidays so much she should consider a different job, or even be a stay home mom while the kids are young, if possible. I was a stay home mom when my daughter was young. Money was tight but it was worth it.
  11. by   ChocoholicRN
    At my hospital, anyone whose part-time or full-time has to work every other holiday and every other weekend. Last year worked out well because Christmas and New Years were two weekends in a row, so which ever was your weekend to work, you worked, no arguments. This year they posted sign-up sheets in the staff lounge and had people put their names on the list if they wanted off for christmas or new years. Pretty much first come, first serve from there, plus seniority counts too. Sure its not fair that some of us have to give up thanksgiving or christmas to work, but just think about the patients that we're taking care of. These paitents have no choice, they have to be in the hospital, away from their friends and family, woken up at all hours of the day and night, yet we rarely hear them complain about it (at least i haven't). I think we can give up one or two holidays to help take care of our sick patients because at the end of our shift, we get to go home to our family and they (the patients) have to stay at the hospital. Try to remember why we all became nurses, giving up one or two holidays is not the end of the world.


    P.S. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
  12. by   hica19
    I am working both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Don't mind though.
  13. by   EmerNurse
    I'm relatively new to my hospital (6 mos) but I was still asked, along with everyone else, for my preference. I asked for TG because we wanted to go to NC to see the in-laws who moved and are lonely for their family. Told them I really didn't care much about Xmas and New Years because I work nights anyway. Got TG with no problem, working Xmas eve and Xmas night - and may or may not work NY - that one isn't out yet. Honestly, though, DH and I don't go out NY anyway, just kinda ring in the NY relaxing (assuming we're awake LOL). So that one's no biggie either. My family has always understood that the DAY you celebrate the holiday isn't really important - it's the fact that you DO gather to celebrate the holiday that makes it all worth it.
  14. by   KungFuFtr
    Quote from scrmblr
    ohmyholycow...She pitched a FIT. Crying and throwing things in the break room about how "she has little kids" It was a scene. She went down the schedule and realized that many of us have both holidays off and really went crazy.

    Anyhow...What do you think was "fair" She managed to throw enough of a hissy fit that our director posted the position as "open" and another nurse actually wanted to trade for Thanksgiving... I just thought the nurse throwing a hissy was ridiculous.

    Thoughts?
    Hmmm...how melodramatic. She sold her dignity for a day off!? I'd hate to see what she'd do if she had a real problem!

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