working on Christmas? - page 12

I've been a nurse for almost 8 years. I have always volunteered to work EVERY holiday (newyears, 4th of July, Thanksgiving etc...) just to have Christmas off to be with my family. I am 6 months... Read More

  1. by   Bipley
    Maybe we need to redirect this topic. The post previous to mine made me think about what is important.

    I don't hide the fact that I am atheist. But that doesn't mean I don't care about others on their special holidays. What greater gift is there than the one that comes from the heart with absolutely no recognition?

    My mostest favoritest gift I have ever given was the one that was left of the back porch of a neighbor's home. They had no idea where it came from but their Christmas was made whole when they all received gifts. Dad was out of work, Mom was a full time, stay at home Mom, and money was more than tight. I had the absolute thrill of seeing them open the back door and finding the packages.

    There is no greater thrill. Everyone should do it. Makes me realize that I haven't planned my own Christmas. I need to do that.

    Heh... I have to mention t-giving too. Last year we discovered on t-giving eve that the older man behind us had no place to go for dinner. At the last minute evil B (boyfriend) and I decided to make t-giving dinner. I bought a frozen turkey, got a recipe and was ready to go. Who knew how long it takes for 26# turkey to thaw?? Picture this... I'm standing on the edge of the bathtub running hot water over a frozen bird. Keeping in mind I am a vegetarian so cooking meat is not my cup of tea.

    You know what? Instead of writing this I am going to copy and paste from a cooking board I frequent (ie: beg for advice since I'm NOT a cook!)

    Here is last year's T-day festivities. I post on a cooking forum and a 20 year old LITTLE girl teaches me new tips and tricks. Oh my, I'm a horrible cook. So here is what I posted last year:

    >>Steph...

    I did the tday thing. Oye... I'm just not a cook. Tried to put the turkey in the bag and it fell out the other end... on the floor. By this time I got the chemo gloves out and started again. (Chemo gloves are verrrry thick) Gave it a shower and tried again.

    I really didn't plan on cooking a turkey. I'm vegetarian and cooking dead things makes me feel all creepy. But the guy next door is elderly, had no money for a tday dinner, and no family to cook for him. He's not into charity AT ALL so I bought the groceries, agreed to cook the bird under the condition he makes the rest of the stuff. He's tasted my cooking before so he was cool with the deal. ;o) So was my better half. When the turkey went flying and landed on the floor (dead birds CAN fly!) and R started laughing at me... suffice it to say he helped with the shower and helped putting the darn thing in a bag! (There are two bags in a box, did you know that???) Picture this.... I'm standing on the edge of the tub holding the turkey up in the shower, besides, it helped it to thaw.... Got that visual? That was tday! ;o) BTW.. do you have ANY idea how long it takes a 26# bird to thaw?? Holy crap! Takes a LONG time! And, did you know they shackle it's little feet? What is a dead turkey going to fight anyway??

    I tried the breast down thing, it rocked like a teeter totter. And do you have ANY idea how hard it is to "turn" a turkey in a bag mid cooking?? However I am here to say it "can" be done. It's just not as easy as you might think. It is all centered around *where* you tie the bag. See, you would THINK you tie it on top. But when you go to turn the bird (as in the instructions) the tied part of the bag ends up on the bottem. Noooooot a good place when you turn the bird.

    Stuffing... I was warned not to stuff it. I'm just not skilled enough to do that. So I was told to stuff it with a couple of onions. Onions don't fit. So I crammed them up there and apparently that doesn't count as stuffing. Some recipes said onions, some said apples. So I crammed both of them up there. If you push hard enough, they fit. Amazing, I know.

    The bird didn't kill anyone so I guess this worked. But I'm here to tell you, it was one HECK of a lot of work!<<

    The little 20 year old CHILD responds:

    >>LMAO!!! I am just sitting here laughing so hard I'm crying!

    I wouldn't imagine that a 26 lb turkey "would" work, upside down. LOL!!! I don't think most people make one that big, so I doubt it's been tried with one like that. So how was everything, after the Turkey Adventure was finished?
    <<

    My response:

    >>I wouldn't imagine that a 26 lb turkey "would" work, upside down. LOL!!! I don't think most people make one that big, so I doubt it's been tried with one like that. So how was everything, after the Turkey Adventure was finished?<<

    Yeah, laugh now! It wasn't funny when a dead bird was flying through the air! They really DO fly! I swear!

    Great... NOW you tell me a 26 pound bird won't work upside down. Do ya think you could have mentioned that previously???? ;o)

    You know, these web sites that talk about how EASY it is to cook a turkey, it isn't any work.. blah blah blah... you know what? THEY FIB! It is a heck of a lot of work and you are actually out of breath after giving it a shower! I could have done weight lifting and it would have been easier!

    When you aren't planning on cooking a turkey and you wait for the night before tday to buy the darn thing, you get what you get. That means 26 pounds of frozen bird!

    AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Nobody died so it must have worked. Apples and onions, that is clearly the trick. ;o)<<

    Yeah, and my 20 y/o's advice on my next holiday meal? Check it out:

    >>Here is how to cook ham:
    • Get in your car.
    • Go to your nearest Honeybaked Ham store.
    • Stand in line for an hour.
    • get a honeybaked ham.
    • go home and put it on the table.
    That is how you make ham. LMAO!<<

    My tday experiences.. right there... out there... for the whole wide world to see.
  2. by   kbrn2002
    Quote from Agnus
    Mom, Dad, Kids,
    Imagine this. It is Christmas day and someone gets really sick or even gets hurt on the new sled or bike they got for Christmas. OR worse they get in a car crash on their way to Church or Grandmas house. Or maybe someone's Grandma slips and falls and breaks a hip. And no body is working at the hospital because it is Christmas. They might die.

    We take turns at the hospital working these holidays because of this. Everyone wants Christamas and Christmas eve off. IT is the one holiday that everyone wants to spend with thier family.

    Consider my working as your gift to those people who get sick or hurt this Christmas and Christmas eve. We give gifts to each other but there are people out there who really need me to work who's life might depend on it. That is a much more important gift than spending one or two specific days with you, when I will be with you all the rest of the time.

    I have not worked the last 8 Christmases because someone else sacrificed to work in my place. Now it it my turn. I won't work every Christamas but there will be other Christmases that I will work.

    We will have a beautiful celebration of Christmas and even though it will not be on Christmas day we will have a better Christmas celebration than most people in the world.
    This is perfect! My mother and I are both nurses and work opposite weekends so we haven't had Christmas on Christmas in years, but we manage to get the family together either before or after. This year, Christmas is my turn. I work the 23rd, 24th and 25th - all 12 hr night shifts so the whole holiday weekend is shot. I also have kids, and a blended family as I'm sure many others here also have. Try figuring 2 nurses, your family, your in-laws AND the step kids families into any kind of a holiday schedule that makes sense! I've learned to not only cope but to be thankful for the chance to get together anytime. When you feel depressed or frustrated about working Christmas, think about how your patients feel. They and their families are not only depressed and frustrated, but dealing with whatever caused them to be in your care besides.
  3. by   Tweety
    Quote from mrbill72315
    If there are nurses on your floor that don't have children, then they should volunteer to cover for you.

    It's what nurses do!
    Not always. I don't have kids, and yes for the last ten years I've volunteered to work. However, if I choose to visit my family or have other festivities, I don't feel I should volunteer to cover for anyone.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from mrbill72315
    i have worked almost every christmas for the last 35 years (except when i was working for a home health agency, and even then i was on call) because we don't have children. if there are nurses on your floor that don't have children, then they should volunteer to cover for you.
    !
    as a childless woman (not by choice) i still feel that i am just as entitled to christmas off as someone who has children. i signed up for the same job, the same payscale and the same working conditions as everyone else. there's no reason i don't have have a right to the same holidays off as everyone else. i wasn't responsible for their reproductive decisions, nor do i dictate how they celebrate their holidays. i just know that i work every other christmas, and when it's my year to have it off, i want to have it off. no one should have to sacrifice their holiday unless they choose to.
    ruby
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from ruby vee
    as a childless woman (not by choice) i still feel that i am just as entitled to christmas off as someone who has children. i signed up for the same job, the same payscale and the same working conditions as everyone else. there's no reason i don't have have a right to the same holidays off as everyone else. i wasn't responsible for their reproductive decisions, nor do i dictate how they celebrate their holidays. i just know that i work every other christmas, and when it's my year to have it off, i want to have it off. no one should have to sacrifice their holiday unless they choose to.
    ruby
    i completely agree with this - how does having children in and of itself entitle anyone to have priority in taking christmas off?

    and i have 4 kids.

    steph
  6. by   sjrn85
    If there are nurses on your floor that don't have children, then they should volunteer to cover for you.
    Ugh. Yet another salvo from the guilt-trip guerilla squad.

    The bottom line is, if you work somewhere that offers paid holidays to its employees, then all employees are entitled to them. I've never seen a hospital say, "For those of you with children, you will have Christmas Eve., Christmas Day, New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving off. You are also entitled to be off for any extra-curricular activities your children may have that would interfere with your being here. Those of you without children will be expected to work all the holidays and accommodate the needs of your co-workers with children so they can attend plays, soccer games, piano recitals, ballet classes, etc."

    As someone else pointed out, MANY people work on holidays. I'm trying to get the mental image of a state trooper pouting about having to work Christmas and wailing, "But I have kids!!!" Or a surgeon, "Sorry, I'll have to fix your dissecting aortic aneurysm tomorrow...I need to be a home to see my children open their presents."

    Funny how for many, the focus is on opening presents, etc., which absolutely has nothing to do with what people call the "true" spirit of Christmas. Why not at least be honest about it? It could be any day, really, since for many the focus is on the presents. I don't recall seeing anyone saying how much they wanted off because of the Christmas service they were planning to attend.
    Last edit by sjrn85 on Nov 24, '05
  7. by   Nella
    Having children is a choice ( most of the time).

    Offering to work a Holiday for someone who has children (if you don't) is also a choice. Not a should.

    How many years should a childless nurse volunteer to work Holidays for those w/ children? The rest of her working life? I don't think so.
  8. by   Candinrse
    I remember , way back when, my kids were little and I usually had to work Christmas. One year I begged to be off, my ex and I had just seperated and he had moved out of state, the rest of the family 1200 miles away,and I would have had to leave them ALONE. No go...DON wouldn't change the schedule and no one was willing to swap. My unit manager took the kids to her house in another city, and brought them back to the hospital at the end of shift. Wonderful person.
    Now my kids are all grown. They all understand that control over the schedule wasn't my doing and that people get sick 24/7.
    I made a vow back in those days, that when my kids were grown I would volunteer to work every Christmas...so that families with small kids could take it off. I work Christmas eve and day this year, and it makes me smile to think of a child being happy.
  9. by   AngelsRN
    Quote from mrbill72315
    If there are nurses on your floor that don't have children, then they should volunteer to cover for you.

    It's what nurses do!
    Are you kidding me?? Again, I dont have children, but the holidays are just as important to me and I dont think I should have to "volunteer" to cover for someone who does. It angers me that people think that because I dont have children, then I must have no life and no reason to enjoy my holiday.
  10. by   BabySunnie95
    I'm sorry that you will be working both days. I work in the NICU and we are required to either work the eve or the day of each holiday which allows us to spend one day or the other with our family. I think this is fair & it works out well for our unit. Everyone seems to be happy. We do have a few nurses that volunteer to work both the eve & day and by doing so that take turns allowing other nurses to spend extra time with their families.

    One thing that I don't like to hear people say is that the nurses with children shouldn't have to work the holidays. I totally disagree. I have two wonderful boys, ages 4 and 5, and as much as I would love to spend the entire holiday with them and the rest of my family, I think it's only fair that I work my fair share. Those without children have family as well, just because they don't have children doesn't mean that their time with their families are just as meaningful & important to them. Something people should keep in mind is that maybe they can't have children for some reason or the other be it medical or by choice.

    I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and I hope you and your family are able to make the best of this joyous season.
  11. by   LoveMyBugs
    I am a student so I havent had to work hoildays yet, however I know that I will. Growing up my father was a firerfighter and he had to miss many hoildays. Our family just celebrated eaither a day early or a day later. Explain to your kids, that you will celebrate when you all can be together, that they can have Chrtistmas with thier grandparents and a second Christmas with you and your husband.
  12. by   AngelsRN
    Quote from BabySunnie95
    One thing that I don't like to hear people say is that the nurses with children shouldn't have to work the holidays. I totally disagree. I have two wonderful boys, ages 4 and 5, and as much as I would love to spend the entire holiday with them and the rest of my family, I think it's only fair that I work my fair share. Those without children have family as well, just because they don't have children doesn't mean that their time with their families are just as meaningful & important to them. Something people should keep in mind is that maybe they can't have children for some reason or the other be it medical or by choice.
    Thank you for recognizing that! I appreciate that --
  13. by   marybethm
    One of the reasons I don't do hospital nursing anymore is because I was sick and tired of the holiday/weekend/shift rotation situation. Sometimes it was fair, but more often than not it was dependant on the whims of the head nurse. You can work around it any way you want, and your little kids won't remember which holidays you worked and which ones you celebrated a day early or late. I think this is one of those things that you just get thru or you quit your job. No happy medium.

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