A Nurse Who Gives Thanks on the Thanksgiving Holiday

Nursing is a career pathway that allows the dedicated professionals within its ranks to impact society. I am a nurse who gives thanks on the Thanksgiving holiday because, even though we think we've gotten a raw deal, we must remain cognizant that we are doing tremendously better than many others out there. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

A Nurse Who Gives Thanks on the Thanksgiving Holiday

Once again, I will be working on this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

However, I do not object to working on Thanksgiving like so many others. First of all, I am a single female with no husband or kids, so I come home to an empty house anyway. Secondly, although I have extended family members, they live halfway across the country and I am not that close to them.

So even though I do not plan to celebrate this holiday in the customary style that involves food, feasting and fun in a house full of loved ones, I remain cognizant that I am thankful for many things as a nurse on Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for a nursing license that enables me to earn decent pay.

During my early and middle childhood years I watched as my parents struggled financially. Cheap, low-quality foods such as ramen noodles, hot dogs and Kool-Aid were the norm during my growing-up years. Sometimes the cupboards and refrigerator were empty.

This might sound petty and inconsequential, but I am thankful for having a nursing license that allows me to earn an upper five-figure income. I can eat what I want, shop when I want, live comfortably, travel, and not worry about prickly bill collectors calling me well into the evening. I have never had to use a payday loan, pawn shop, or other nebulous financial instrument because I do not live from paycheck to paycheck.

So I give thanks for not having to deal with the sobering financial problems and hand-to-mouth existences with which so many hard-working people constantly grapple.

I am thankful for flexible scheduling.

I give thanks because I am not obligated to work a regular five day work week with weekends off that seem to disappear too quickly.

One of the beautiful aspects of nursing is the variety in scheduling. People who enjoy 8-hour shifts can manage to find a facility that offers a five-day a week schedule. Those of us who prefer longer shifts can continue to work three 12-hour shifts to receive four days off every week. If one wants five days off per week, he or she can work two grueling 16-hour double shifts. So, I am thankful that my position as a bedside nurse allows me to have the ultimate amount of flexibility in scheduling.

I am thankful because nursing allows me to touch peoples' lives.

I work in acute rehabilitation, a specialty that assists debilitated patients in seeing some restoration to their level of function through basic nursing care, specific modalities and various therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy).

It feels mightily invigorating to see a patient finally go home with the capacity to speak fluidly and ambulate on his own when, only a few weeks ago, the same man had been rendered totally unable to walk, talk or swallow due to a major CVA. Nothing can be more wondrous than the words of the patient when he utters, "Thank you for everything you've done for me."

I have many more reasons to give thanks on this Thanksgiving holiday.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN, CRRN is a longtime physical rehabilitation nurse who has varied experiences upon which to draw for her articles. She was an LPN/LVN for more than four years prior to becoming a Registered Nurse.

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Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN.

I have children and I always appreciated if I didn't work some of the holidays but I think it should be equal to all staff regardless of whether they have kids or not. I think your co-worker will appreciate you because of your kindness in giving up your thanksgiving to look after our patients

Happy Thanksgiving to Commuter and everyone else. I'm thankful for being a nurse as well. I love being able impact the lives of others and often my patients touch me in such a special way.

I'm thankful for my health. I could be sick in the hospital or physically disabled in someway.

Thankful for my husband, family and friends.

Thankful for AN, the site I've been addicted to for the last 6 years!

Specializes in Family practice, emergency.

I don't mind working on Thanksgiving. My co-workers are a part of my family. Hope you all have a great holiday, and thanks Commuter for reminding us to be thankful!

Specializes in Hospice.

I so agree with the OP- holidays were my favorite days to work the floor. And there are so many things to be thankful about being a nurse:)

Tomorrow I'm working a shift on the ambulance (my fun, part-time job) and I feel the same way about working holidays there.

I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving:)

Specializes in Med-Surg, Primary/Urgent Care.

Upper five-figure income? Wow, you do have a lot to be thankful for...Can I work with you? Seriously though--Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Specializes in Forensic Psych.

Happy Thanksgiving, Commuter!