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Why I Am Grateful To Be Working On Thanksgiving Day

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For the majority of nurses this might be the case, but what if all nurses actually enjoyed working the holidays? Could you imagine the positive rippling effect this would have on the environment you work in and the patients you serve? In this article, see why I am grateful to be working this Thanksgiving Day.

Specializes in Emergency Department.

Do you despise working on Thanksgiving, or any holiday?

Why I Am Grateful To Be Working On Thanksgiving Day

For the majority of nurses, working the holiday is a requirement that we dread. For me, I choose to accept what I cannot change and to actively seek the good given the situation. It is my hope that this article can change your view on working the holiday. Or at least, bring to light the positive impact being at work on this day you will be able bring to your patients.

I am grateful to be working on Thanksgiving Day...

To serve my patients on a day that could be the worst day of their lives and on top of that it is a holiday

Working the in Emergency Department, I have learned first hand that when it comes to: death, trauma or exacerbations of chronic medical conditions, they all do not care that it is a holiday and could turn your world upside down at any moment. Nor do any of the above events take heed to age, gender or socioeconomic status. Anyone at any time can be negatively impacted at any moment. Having lived this fact, I am grateful to be standing and of sound mind to help those who are not so fortunate on the holiday.

To create an environment of home for my patients in a place that is the furthest thing from home

In my opinion, the hospital is the furthest thing away from the warm and fuzzy feeling I have when I think of home. Even though I can wear my pajamas to work, let's say I would not want to lie down on the floor to read a book. With that being said, as nurses, we can have some fun with this to make it feel as comfortable as possible for our patients. Ask your patients what would make them feel like they were at home and use your creativity and imagination to make that happen for them. I am sure with whatever you make happen, no matter how big or small, they will notice and appreciate the effort.

To be family for those who do not have a family to share the holiday with

Unfortunately, we all have seen this as well. Some more than others, but the joy some people feel about the holidays, others might feel nothing but sorrow. Be an ear to listen to a story or the shoulder to cry on. Try to make them feel at home or maybe even have dinner with them so they do not have to eat alone. Going the extra mile here will not go unnoticed and has the potential to truly make a day that has been miserable for years, positive for once.

To spend the holiday with my work family

No matter how you slice and dice the numbers, when you are working full time or even part time hours, we are spending a ton of time at your place of employment. The bonds that you build with your colleagues in the healthcare arena are unique and unless you live it, you won't get it. Not to mention dinner, I mean, THE UNIT POT LUCK! They never disappoint and I look forward to them every time.

For the Thanksgiving Holiday, let this article give you a different perspective on working the holidays. Think about the topics discussed, come up with ways that you can benefit others by working the holiday and after, see how this has changed your day. Looking through this lens will make the 12-hour shift more enjoyable and you will bring more joy to the patients you serve on this day.

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

Michael M. Heuninckx RN-BSN

17 Articles   43 Posts

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26 Comment(s)

819Nurse, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Nursing. Has 16 years experience.

Great article!! Happy Turkey Day to you as well!!!!!!

xoemmylouox, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

Nice article. It may not be ideal to work the holiday, but someone has to be there for patients. I too am a big fan of the potluck. May everyone have a good Thanksgiving, and may your patients stay stable.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 14 years experience.

I loved working Thanksgiving when I worked in the hospital. I volunteered to work it every year for the 5 years I was working in the hospital. Having an excuse to not go to family dinner on Thanksgiving is one of the two things I miss from the hospital. (The second is having Social Workers and a Child Protection Team who did all the report filing of abuse/neglect with CPS, I hate that that's part of my job now.)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

After having spent several years working in the exploitative fast food and downscale retail industries, I do not complain about working on holidays. As a nurse I earn more during a typical shift than a minimum wage employee earns in an entire week.

Life is bleak when one must eke out an existence on minimum-wage employment. At the federal minimum wage of $7.25, a worker clears $290/week before taxes if they were lucky enough to work 40 hours. Most people in this industry are part-timers who never get 40 hours of work.

The grass is usually not greener for the hard-working cashiers, stock clerks, customer service associates and parking lot attendants who must deal with the unwashed masses during Black Friday stampedes all day tomorrow. I've worked in that world before and I don't want to return. I am thankful to be a nurse.

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

Thank you for reminding us about giving thanks. Enjoyed your Article. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Working Thanksgiving means I'm NOT working Christmas. :laugh: Yesterday I delivered my kids to their Grandma's house, so they'll get to enjoy the from-scratch feast, and see their 92-yr-old Great-Grandma. My husband and I are having dinner with our church family, and then I'll head to work and hopefully make the day a little less horrible for a family or two. I work with the most amazing bunch of people, and if I can't spend the whole day with my family-family or church family, there's nobody else I'd rather spend the day with!

liberated847

Specializes in CEN, CFRN, PHRN, RCIS, EMT-P. Has 10 years experience.

All these silly holidays are the cause of our blunt hypocrisy in society today. If we all lived our lives like we pretend to live during these silly "holidays" this world would be a better place. That and I'm tired of women with children getting priority for days off during this season over single women and men :D

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

thanksgiving-pumpkin-smash.gif

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

liberated847 said:
That and I'm tired of women with children getting priority for days off during this season over single women and men :D

I have five, and I've been taking my turn, every other holiday, since I was 18 yrs old. ;) Moms have never gotten priority anywhere I've worked--it was strictly based on turn.

liberated847

Specializes in CEN, CFRN, PHRN, RCIS, EMT-P. Has 10 years experience.

Here.I.Stand said:
I have five, and I've been taking my turn, every other holiday, since I was 18 yrs old. ;) Moms have never gotten priority anywhere I've worked--it was strictly based on turn.

Sounds like a fair employer. Not my experience with my last several.

CarryThatWeight, BSN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.

Scrubs are NOT pajamas!! Sorry, but I'm so tired of hearing that.