The holiday mood is all around us, but holidays represent hectic medical facilities times for numerous reasons. Some of them are mainly because the staff is working hard and not being home with their loved ones. The overall atmosphere is not good for the patients either since none of them want to spend the holidays in hospitals. That’s not the kind of care they hoped to get this time of year, and they might lash out at medical staff. But in the spirit of the holiday season, here is an overview of things to improve the morale of medical staff.

How to Boost the Medical Staff Morale During Holidays

I’m a registered nurse behind Medicare Login HQ, a portal dedicated to patients who want to find out how to log into different Medicare providers. Unfortunately, being in a love-hate relationship with administration myself on the one hand and taking care of the patients on the other, I too suffer the same fate as all other medical workers – being understaffed, tired, and spread thin when holidays come around. So here’s a list of things we like to do at our hospital that might ease the burden.

Bust Out the Decorations On Time

There is something about holiday decorations that eases the pain of being away from home. This rings true for the patients and staff alike. And also, there isn’t a bleaker sight than an undecorated space during the holidays. So the first step towards cheering up the collective is decorating the area they spend the most time.

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Start decorating on time, ask for help and enjoy the team-building activities like placing mistletoes and trimming trees. Here, deck the halls has a different meaning.

The Spirit of Christmas Playlists

We all know what time of the year it is as soon as we hear the Mariah Carey tunes. Unthroned Queen of Christmas and other carols can be easily played in the background and still add to the overall festive time of the year. If the tunes can’t spread across the hallways due to hospital policy, then keeping them in the staff area will improve everyone’s mood.

Organize an Early Celebration

No matter what department you are in, everyone knows how crazy things get during the holidays. It’s best to plan the gathering early and celebrate before the rush so the staff will be rested and enjoy the party. Hosting a celebration during the holidays is usually bad because overworked staff can’t let loose and truly enjoy socializing.

Pick a date, call the entire staff department, and dedicate the time to non-work related activities.

The Gift of Holiday Spirit

It’s hard to assess people’s financial situation, so mandated gift-giving shouldn’t be a part of your holiday festivities—no need to strain the staff’s budget. Instead, you can go back to the roots of the meaning behind the holidays. For example, you could organize a simple card-giving ceremony and a small potluck party.

That should be enough to stir some pleasant conversation and show appreciation between coworkers. And everybody can taste various dishes and maybe even exchange some recipes.

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A multicultural staff brings a lot to the table for a holiday party, just like it’s shown that having a multicultural staff increases the facility’s innovation and care level. Good food, and in the wisdom of Sheldon Cooper, offering a hot beverage might soothe all the worries away. Add to that some desserts, and you will have a room full of relaxed staff in no time.

The Most Important Step – Plan a Holiday Schedule In Advance

There is no such thing as overplanning when it comes to holiday shifts and medical staff schedules. Instead, make contingency plans and contingency plans of contingency plans. There’s a Latin saying, “Malum consilium quod mutari non potest,” – which means: Bad is the plan that cannot change.

Pro tip: plan the shifts well in advance so people can plan their vacation and downtime around them.

Treat Medical Staff with Kindness

Medical staff is the first line of defense. When people are nervous and depressed because they miss quality time with their family, being in a hospital feels like a prison. Some deal with it better than others, and some might lash out at medical staff. The same medical staff that’s already overworked and strained because they, too, are missing their families.

The best advice is: to offer a kind word. No matter how bleak someone might feel, and even if they are lashing out, the best way is to provide a kind word and show that you are there for them. Likewise, enticing medical staff to socialize with patients improves patient care and how your staff feels. After all, we are all just human.

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Gatty Chavarría
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