working on Christmas? - page 6

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   canoehead
    If you are working Christmas Eve why won't you be home on Christmas morning? Sounds like as a night person you can have Christmas unless you work both christmas Eve and Day.
  2. by   angel337
    Quote from dorimar
    Here is what i think.... It DOES TOO matter if you have kids. I have been doing this 20 years. When I first got my RN i was only 20 and obviously had no children. I was low man on the totem poll and did whatever they told me. I had no problem working WHATEVER was asked. It WAS hard working CHristmas when you've just left home and want to go back etc. However, I DID put in <a href="http://www.srch-results.com/lm/rtl.asp?k=my%20time" onmouseover="window.status='my time'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true;">my time</a> and NOW I have children and all I ask is to be there when they wake up in the morning on CHRISTMAS DAY( i work nights). For those of you that think it's not your problem .... Shame on you. You all had your childhoods too. Your are not just taking it from the parents, but from the children as well. I have worked many a New Years Eve, & other holidays to accommodate my Christmas morning. I know there are many that want new years eve off more. I Knew that when I went into nursing, I would have to work holidays, and I DID , and i continue to compromise. However, senioritiy SHOULD mean something. all these hospitals are doing everything for recruitment and nothing for retention. I have worked in the same unit for 7 years (and bust my ass). It is ICU and difficult to find trained personal (i have done ICU for 17 years i must add). Last year we hired a slew of new nurses with no ICU experience that I HELPED TRAIN. Several of the new nurses schedule this year is Thanksgiving eve night & New years Day night ( or similar combinations), while I am working Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve(hence won't be home Christmas morning) and new Years Eve. I DO think that seinority should count, and for those of you that don't stick to one place, it's easy to say it shouldn't. But to the hospitals that are begging for nurses, and can't understand the turnover..... quit coddeling the new nurses (IE recruitment bonus's , & cush holiday schedules) and do a little something for your nurses who have shown some loyalty to you.
    I have not been a nurse near about as long as you have, but I can totally empathize with what you are saying. However, I feel that employers only care about one thing.......staffing there units. So I feel that I should also care about one thing.....my family first, job second. It is very important to me that my children experience the holidays the way I did growing up, and that is why I am going to seriously start looking for employment that does not require holidays. I feel that if I stay committed to hospital nursing too long, I will be bitter and resentful in the years to come due to the lack of respect that administration has for seasoned nurses. I love my career, but if I want to continue to love it I know I need to take more control over my own schedule.
  3. by   fergus51
    No offense Dorimar, but I just completely disagree. It isn't the kids who are unhappy, it's the parents. My dad worked holidays when I grew up (he's a cop) and since my parents never emphasized the date rather than the holiday, it was never a big deal to celebrate a different day. I'm proud that my dad served the community even on holidays. Sacrificing for others is a pretty good lesson for kids to learn.

    Now that I am a nurse and work holidays, I really don't care if you have kids or if you don't. I work more than my share and don't feel shame because I want to spend time with my family. You have made choices in your life and I've made choices in mine. If you don't feel valued at your current job, I hope you will find a place that does value you. Really, most of the parents in my unit aren't too mad about working Xmas eve because it means they will be home Xmas morning to open presents, then just take a nap and still enjoy Xmas dinner with the family. I think that's pretty good compared to the alternative of spending the whole Xmas season away from family like I have every year since I became a nurse (my choice) and it's why I don't feel guilty at all for getting it off this year to go home. Anyone who tries to make me feel ashamed is wasting her time.
  4. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from dorimar
    Here is what i think.... It DOES TOO matter if you have kids. I have been doing this 20 years. When I first got my RN i was only 20 and obviously had no children. I was low man on the totem poll and did whatever they told me. I had no problem working WHATEVER was asked. It WAS hard working CHristmas when you've just left home and want to go back etc. However, I DID put in my time and NOW I have children and all I ask is to be there when they wake up in the morning on CHRISTMAS DAY( i work nights). For those of you that think it's not your problem .... Shame on you. You all had your childhoods too. Your are not just taking it from the parents, but from the children as well. I have worked many a New Years Eve, & other holidays to accommodate my Christmas morning. I know there are many that want new years eve off more. I Knew that when I went into nursing, I would have to work holidays, and I DID , and i continue to compromise. However, senioritiy SHOULD mean something. all these hospitals are doing everything for recruitment and nothing for retention. I have worked in the same unit for 7 years (and bust my ass). It is ICU and difficult to find trained personal (i have done ICU for 17 years i must add). Last year we hired a slew of new nurses with no ICU experience that I HELPED TRAIN. Several of the new nurses schedule this year is Thanksgiving eve night & New years Day night ( or similar combinations), while I am working Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve(hence won't be home Christmas morning) and new Years Eve. I DO think that seinority should count, and for those of you that don't stick to one place, it's easy to say it shouldn't. But to the hospitals that are begging for nurses, and can't understand the turnover..... quit coddeling the new nurses (IE recruitment bonus's , & cush holiday schedules) and do a little something for your nurses who have shown some loyalty to you.

    Dorimar, I must agree with Fergus here. The kids will be fine, it is the parents who are making a big deal about Christmas morning, etc. Both my parents used to work some Christmases and I don't remember being crushed any more than the usual disappointment I felt when they weren't around. I in no way felt like "my childhood was taken away from me". Now that I am a mom of two small children myself, I feel that I really, really want to be with them on the holidays but I have had to work a couple of Christmases in the past. And guess what? They were fine! When I got home they were just as happy as if I had been there when they woke up.
  5. by   grammyr
    I prefer being off Christmas Eve. I have volunteered to work Christmas day for the past 4 years for the people who do have small kids at home. I have grandchildren and we do our Christmas some other day. They really like it because they have more than one Christmas.
  6. by   RnRatchet
    growing up we were always celebrating christmas whenever we could all be together.. sometimes early.. sometimes the day after.. my mom is a nurse so we sometimes stayed with our grandma on christmas day.. we had a great time playing with our cousins and we ended up having 2 christmases and loved it!
    i'm a hospice nurse and we all take turns taking call on the holidays. i'm lucky to work with a great group of girls right now. we keep track over who worked what and then take turns. besides the paid holidays we also take into consideration other holidays too.. mother's day.. etc. usually one of us will just say.. i was off thanksgiving last year.. let me take call that day.. so.. even though i now work a job that i don't have to go into the office on the holiday my pager can still call me to a patient. most of our families feel terrible calling on a holiday.. it's usually only death calls or pain out of control. they want to be with just family as well and always apologize for calling us. bless them.. we tell them that's what we're there for though!
  7. by   sjrn85
    The attitude posed by Dorimar is precisely one of the reasons I stopped doing all the holidays. This is not meant to flame her personally, but the post just is a perfect example of what I have put up with for 20+ years.

    I was not involved in someone else's choice to have children and go into nursing, so it is not my responsibility to ensure that that person has his/her perfect vision of Christmas.

    People without children have friends, lives, and rights. As someone else said, cowboy up and do your share, or get a job where holidays aren't an issue.

    As far as nailing down a future date as a "trade" for working Christmas, I tried that. Amazing how "something came up" every time that date rolled around.

    Having kids does not make someone entitled to being first in line for day shift, holidays off, and all of the other few perks that come along. :angryfire
  8. by   Bipley
    Quote from dorimar
    Here is what i think.... It DOES TOO matter if you have kids....

    ...For those of you that think it's not your problem .... Shame on you. You all had your childhoods too. Your are not just taking it from the parents, but from the children as well. ...

    ...But to the hospitals that are begging for nurses, and can't understand the turnover..... quit coddeling the new nurses (IE recruitment bonus's , & cush holiday schedules) and do a little something for your nurses who have shown some loyalty to you.
    It seems like there are two issues here. Your feeling that you have more reason to have the holiday off because you have children and your feeling that you are not appreciated by your Admin. While I have little to no sympathy for you regarding your kids, I do feel for you regarding your Admin.

    You knew what nursing was about before you requested a job at your hospital. Having children does not make anyone more worthy of having the holiday off. LOTS of people work holidays, not just nurses and they manage. 12/25 isn't even Christ's actual birthday anyway so there is little reason why the day couldn't be celebrated the day before or the day after. It *still* isn't going to be Christ's birthday.

    As I explained earlier in this thread I always volunteer to work Christian Holidays because I'm not a Christian. It seems only logical to me to let the Christians have the day off. However it isn't because they are more worthy since they have children. It is because I THOUGHT the holiday was a religious one for Christians. I guess not, instead it seems to be more of a tradition than a religious day of worshiping.

    Makes me want to rethink working every single 12/25.
  9. by   dorimar
    I have done my share, as i said. Working horrible holiday schedules as a "future trade" wasn't why I did it. I did it because it was expected, and I was fine with that. As you all have said, I knew what I was getting into when I chose the profession. Also, I do not expect others to work ALL the holidays, just because I have kids & they do not. I said I wanted Christmas eve off, not EVERY holiday. I also mentioned that several newer nurses had schedules i would have loved when I was a new nurse and would love right now. Working nights, there is twice the holidays to worry about. The eves can be very important. There is no way to make it home by the time my son wakes. After reading all your posts, i realize that it IS for me that i want it. I want to share that morning Christmas joy with my son, as he won't be a child for ever. I guess I don't expect those without children to work Cristmas EVE because they don't have children, but because it is maybe their turn(hey I did it for years), and hey I AM willing to work Christmas, Thanksgiving and New years eve. I didn't say I wasn't compromising. I guess what ever the reason we want it off, doesn't really matter except to ourselves& our families. I CAN say that after my son is grown, I will always volnunteer to work the Chritstmas Eve for those with young children, because I think Christmas morning is one of the most special things about childhood. I DO think seniority should count for something, if nothing else just to get your 1 first choice off. So much is done for recruitment, and so little for retention. And i HAVE put in my time and done my share.
    Last edit by dorimar on Nov 20, '05
  10. by   sjrn85
    If it's my turn to work on a holiday, no problem. But if it's my turn to be off, I don't want to hear any guilt trips about why I should work because I don't have kids or don't celebrate the holiday.

    And as I said before, children do not entitle someone to special consideration. (Lord knows I've seen enough special consideration given to people with kids that single people never get.)
  11. by   sjrn85
    Makes me want to rethink working every single 12/25.
    That's how I finally came to my decision to take my holidays off as they came.
  12. by   dorimar
    I have never seen special consideration given to those with children, by administration. I have never expected special consideration because i have children. I HAVE MYSELF (in the past and will again in the future) give special consideration to those with children @ christmas. I DO expect special consideration shown to me because of my years of service & all the christmas's i worked prior to this. I would have never come to a new job and expected the holiday schedule that some of these newer nurses are getting.
  13. by   dorimar
    Also, if i was scheduled on Christmas or EVE & wanted it off I would NEVER (and have never) asked a coworker to work my holiday. I think that is ridiculous. I hold the management responsible for the holiday schedule (not my coworkers)

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