Subscribe to our Newsletter
The Caring Support Blog

Preparing for Holiday Shift as a Healthcare Worker

December 20, 2023

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and quality time spent with loved ones. However, for healthcare professionals, this time of year can also mean working long hours and being away from family and friends. In this article, we will explore the challenges and perks of working during the holiday season as a healthcare worker and provide helpful tips to cope with the demands of a holiday shift.

Do Healthcare Professionals Get Days Off in the Holiday Season?

One common question healthcare professionals may have is whether they get days off during the holiday season. The reality is that healthcare facilities need to provide care 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. This means that many healthcare workers will be required to work during Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's, and other festive occasions. However, the specific scheduling policies may vary depending on the facility and department. Some healthcare professionals may have the option to request time off, but it's not guaranteed.

Looking at the Bright Side: Perks of Working During Christmas and Other Holidays

While working during the holiday season may initially seem like a disadvantage, especially because it makes healthcare workers miss family gatherings, there are actually several perks that come with it. Working during the holiday season not only guarantees extra pay and other incentives but also helps members of the healthcare team and their patients form stronger and more meaningful connections. This, in turn, helps make the holiday shift feel more meaningful and rewarding.

A summary of the benefits of working during the holidays.

Holiday Pay and Other Incentives

One of the advantages of working during the holiday season as a healthcare worker is the opportunity to earn holiday pay and other incentives. Many healthcare facilities offer increased pay rates for shifts worked on holidays, recognizing the sacrifice and dedication of their employees.

Some facilities may also provide other incentives such as bonus pay, extra time off, or even gifts as a token of appreciation for working during the holidays. These incentives not only provide financial benefits but also serve as a morale booster for healthcare professionals during this demanding time of year.

More Intimate Bonding With Coworkers and Patients

The holiday season has a way of bringing people together, and this holds true in healthcare settings as well. Working during the holidays often creates a more intimate and supportive environment among coworkers.

Healthcare professionals who find themselves working together during this time can bond over shared experiences and the challenges of providing care during a busy and emotionally charged period. This camaraderie not only makes the holiday shift more enjoyable but also strengthens the team dynamics, leading to improved collaboration and patient care throughout the year.

Better Chance of Granted PTO in Other Days

While working during the holidays may mean being away from family and friends, there is often a silver lining. By taking holiday shifts, healthcare professionals may have a better chance of being granted paid time off (PTO) on other days of the year.

Since the demand for coverage is higher during the holiday season, healthcare facilities may be more willing to accommodate requests for time off during non-holiday periods, especially for those who have already covered the time during the holidays.

This flexibility allows healthcare workers to plan and enjoy vacations or spend quality time with loved ones at other times of the year when they may need it the most.

Less of the Hustle and Bustle of Normal Work Days

Another advantage of working during the holiday season is the opportunity to experience a change of pace.

While the holiday shift may still be demanding, it often comes with a different atmosphere compared to regular workdays. The hustle and bustle of a typical day in healthcare may be slightly reduced as fewer non-essential procedures and appointments are scheduled during this time.

This can create a calmer work environment, allowing healthcare professionals to focus more on providing personalized care and attending to the specific needs of their patients.

Holiday Food

Food plays a significant role in holiday celebrations, and working in a healthcare setting during this time means being exposed to delicious treats and festive meals. Many healthcare facilities and departments organize potlucks or provide special meals for their staff during the holiday season.

This not only brings a sense of joy and celebration to the workplace but also ensures that healthcare professionals have access to nourishing and delicious food while on duty. It's an opportunity to indulge in traditional holiday dishes and enjoy the culinary delights that come with the season.

Sharing More Kindness for the Holiday Spirit

The holiday season is often associated with kindness, compassion, and giving. As healthcare professionals, these values are at the core of your profession. Working during the holiday season provides an opportunity to embrace the holiday spirit fully. Whether it's going the extra mile to make a patient's stay more comfortable or supporting a colleague who may be feeling homesick, small acts of kindness can make a big difference during this time of year.

Helpful Tips for Healthcare Professionals to Cope During Holiday Work

Working during the holiday season can be challenging, but with the right strategies, healthcare professionals can find ways to cope and make the most of their holiday shifts. Here are some helpful tips:

Know that You're Not Alone

Remember that there are many other healthcare professionals who are also working during the holidays. Reach out to colleagues for support and share your experiences. Knowing that you are not alone can provide comfort and a sense of belonging, further building a supportive environment within the workplace.

Celebrate With Family Members Belatedly or In Advance

Healthcare workers often have to work during holidays to ensure the continuous care of patients. Celebrating with family members belatedly or in advance allows healthcare workers to still enjoy the festive season with their loved ones. This way, they can maintain a balance between their personal and professional lives.

It also ensures that they have quality time to spend with their family, even if it's not on the exact holiday date. This flexibility helps healthcare workers create lasting memories and maintain their emotional well-being despite their demanding work schedules.

Put Out Christmas Decor in Your Workplace

Decorating your workspace with festive ornaments and decorations is a good idea since it can help create a cheerful and holiday-inspired environment. It can lift your spirits and bring a sense of joy to both yourself and those around you. The decorations can bring joy and a sense of normalcy in what can be a stressful environment. It can also have a positive impact on patients, providing them with a comforting and welcoming environment during their time of care.

Start New Traditions for the Holidays With Coworkers and Patients

Take the opportunity to start new traditions with your coworkers and patients during the holiday season. This could be organizing a gift exchange, hosting a holiday-themed event, or participating in charitable activities together. These traditions can help create a sense of community and make the holiday shift more enjoyable.

Bring Meals to Share or Order Your Favorite Food

Food has a way of bringing people together. Consider bringing a dish to share with your colleagues or ordering your favourite holiday meal during your shift. This not only satisfies your taste buds but also creates a shared experience and fosters a sense of togetherness.

Ask for Help When You Need It

The holiday season can be demanding, and it's essential to know when to ask for help. If you are feeling overwhelmed or need assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to your colleagues or supervisor. They are there to support you and ensure that you can provide the best care possible.

Take Breaks During Your Shift and Do Self-Care

Amidst the busyness of a holiday shift, it's crucial to prioritize self-care and mental health wellness. Take regular breaks to rest, recharge, and refuel. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it's reading a book, listening to music, or practicing mindfulness techniques. By taking care of yourself, you can better care for others.

Join Holiday Charity Events

Many healthcare facilities organize holiday charity events during this time of year. Consider participating in these events or volunteering your time to spread joy and make a positive impact in your community. Giving back can be incredibly rewarding and help you connect with the true spirit of the holidays.

Find a supportive work environment especially during the holiday season by landing your dream healthcare job through Caring Support.

Meaningful Connections at Caring Support

Working during the holiday season as a healthcare professional may present its challenges, but it also offers unique opportunities for bonding, personal growth, and making a difference in the lives of others. By embracing the perks, finding ways to cope, and spreading extra kindness, healthcare professionals can navigate their holiday shifts with resilience and a sense of fulfillment. Remember, you are not alone, and your dedication to providing care during this time is truly appreciated.

At Caring Support, we're committed to connecting healthcare workers with their ideal employers. We strive to help them find supportive workplaces where they can feel a sense of belonging and connection and one where they can ultimately have a good time, especially when they spend their major holidays with their coworkers. Create your free account with us today to start creating these connections and finding a workplace suitable to your needs.

We at Caring Support wish you a happy and fulfilling holiday season!

About The Author
Cam Adajar
Content Writer

Find Your Dream Job Today!

Get updates from Caring Support

We'll keep you updated on all new application updates and features!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.