Direct Patient Care

Not home for the holidays—Tips for working at Christmas

SONIFI Health By SONIFI Health
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December 11, 2018

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As cheerful as the holiday season is, we know working in a hospital around Christmas can be difficult. As hospital staff, you not only carry the weight of it being an extra emotional time for patients and their families, you also must cope with being away from your own friends and families.

We have collected some advice to help your holiday cheer survive through your shift.

1. Plan ahead to participate in your holiday traditions.

Pick out a few of your favorite things—whether that is watching a movie, opening gifts, or eating a meal—then let people know you’d like to be included and schedule a time to do those things together1.

It may also be helpful to plan activities for your family to do while you are at work2 so they are not just waiting until you come home. Perhaps they could decorate a gingerbread house or start a new tradition of making Christmas cards for your patients.

2. Enjoy celebrating with your work family.

Remind yourself that even though you are working, you are not alone on the holidays. Some of the world’s best treats are found in hospital breakrooms near Christmas! Participate in the fun3. Wear silly socks or play some holiday music.

3. Keep patients in mind.

Help patients and families celebrate4. Sharing your holiday stories is a great way to connect with your patients. If your SONIFI Health interactive system includes movies, show patients the ‘Holiday Favorites’ section we include this time of year. Tell them where to find any decorations or special activities such as candlelight services going on in the hospital.

And with all the fun and busyness, remember to stay rested and alert. It’s a holiday season so don’t try to fit too much into one day!

From all of us at SONIFI Health, thanks for all you do every day to make people well.


Happy holidays!

  1. Malugani, M. (n.d.). Cope with working the holidays in healthcare. Retrieved from Monster:
  2. Paton, F. (2017, December 18). When nurses have to work on Christmas Day. Retrieved from Nurseslabs:
  3. 5 ways nurses can enjoy working on Christmas Day. (2013, December 19). Retrieved from CCU online:
  4. Cabrera, R. (2016, December 21). A nurse’s guide to making patients’ holidays better. Retrieved from nurseslabs:

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