Hospitals don’t take holidays. Who’s working? (Falmouth)
The holidays symbolize many different things for people – extra time spent with family and friends, delicious feasts and, of course, a few extra days off from work. But for hospitals, there’s no shutting down, no half-day closing and no holiday hours, which means some staff will be working.
It’s a busy time for everyone and an important time for those patients who cannot make it home themselves. The care they receive, whether on-going or emergency is crucial to their recovery and well-being – and it wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the staff members who work those holiday shifts.
So what’s it like working on a holiday? OneCape Health News caught up Kerri Good, RN from the Falmouth Hospital Emergency Center, who can tell you firsthand:
- Have you worked a holiday in the ER before?
“In the Emergency Room we alternate holidays as a staff, so we all have a time to spend with our families. Some of us will work for one another because some of the staff have young children and we feel it is important for parents to be home opening gifts with their family. My children are older now so they don’t mind waiting to open their gifts when I get home.”
- What’s it like working in the ER during the holidays?
“Because I work in the Emergency Room, the shift on the holidays can be calm or hectic. It is a very unpredictable place to work, but from my experience it usually gets busier as the day passes. I have worked many holidays and they have been pretty steady as I recall. It is a good feeling to make someone feel better and be able to send them back home.”
- What about the patients? Is the atmosphere different during the holidays?
“Sometimes the patients are upset because they feel they have ruined their family’s holiday. And they always say that they are sorry that we had to work and they think if they hadn’t come that we could have been home. At times it is tough working the holiday because patients are emotional, and we also see a number of patients with mental illness and those that are homeless that have nowhere to go. You do your best to cheer them up.”
- What has been your favorite memory from working a holiday at CCHC?
“I have many memories of the Christmas holiday…holiday cookie swaps, grab bag gifts, ugly sweaters and attempting to Christmas carol was probably the funniest. As a staff we usually have a potluck meal and play some Christmas music, everyone seems happy.”