Happy Holidays 2014

Happy Holidays! I wanted to take this time to share a few glimpses into how we in the medical field celebrate the holidays. This year I am spending most of the holiday season on the trauma service. The nature of trauma is 24/7 – we can’t close for the holidays, so we are fully staffed just like any other day of the year. (Incidentally, other services that work like this include emergency medicine, obstetrics, and critical care medicine. You won’t find a single dermatologist in the hospital on Christmas.)

It’s easy to get depressed being around sick people all day on a holiday, so we find ways to have fun with it. As it turns out, this year I am using a knee scooter to get around as I recover from an ankle injury. While I was on overnight call (a 30-hour shift), the nurses “borrowed” my scooter and returned it to me covered in tinsel and Christmas lights. The nurses in this unit work 12-hour shifts, which sounds like a lot until you consider the 80-hour work weeks that most residents fight their way through. So the nurses keep us grounded. They decorate the units, and remind all of us that it isn’t just another day at work.

For Chanukah, there will be dreidels and gelt. Some hospitals put up trees, though in my area that tends to be limited to hospitals with a religious affiliation. For Thanksgiving, one area hospital served a free Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings to anyone who happened to be there that day: patients, families, and even staff.

It’s not fun being away from your family over the holidays, but we always make the most of it!


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