The holidays can be hard for working nurses. Maybe you enjoyed time with family and friends earlier in the season and will now be working on New Year’s Eve or New Years Day. As the day approaches, it might start to feel like just another workday but if you can, make it a little different. Make it a fun shift for everyone around you. Remember your patients are spending the holidays in a hospital without the ability to go home or even spend time with all their loved ones. When you make it fun for them, you’ll feel even better about the care you provided on that shift.
Here are only a few ways to keep things fun as a working nurse for New Year’s.
Stagger the midnight celebrations!
That way those who are too fatigued to make it until midnight can celebrate. Have a party at various times as though it were midnight in Europe, Australia, California, etc. Your patients can then choose when they want to celebrate without putting too much strain on their bodies to wait until a certain time.
During these celebrations, try to have a variety of drinks available for all those dietary needs.
Decorate! Even if it feels cheesy or childish.
Put up streamers and banners, balloons and posters. The colors, the out-of-the-ordinary decorations and the festivity will help you, your coworkers and patients stay in a holiday spirit.
In the days leading up to New Year, ask the patients, who will be there, what their traditions were in the past. Some may eat black-eyed peas, others may play a game, some may read a poem or religious passage; whatever it may be, see if you can accommodate some of their traditions with others on the floor.
Create a new year resolution wall or even a dream wall.
Help your patients think of the future and what they want that year to look like in their life. Not only will that be an interactive activity, but it can also renew their desire to get out of the hospital and life their life more fully.
Give your coworkers handwritten cards with a funny memory or a way they helped you in the past year. It won’t cost more than the price of a card, but the sentiment can be one that builds morale instantly.
Do your best to give your patients a fun night, as well as your coworkers. After all, you are starting the new year with these people and you all rely on each other in some way or another.
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