The Thing About Celebrating Christmas in Hospitals According to Medical Professionals
by Shara Mae Balce, December 24, 2018 6:11pm
Art by Jessa Malapit
The holiday buzz is here! And while everyone is busy making their last minute shopping and Noche Buena preparations before the clock strikes 12 midnight on Christmas eve, this is not always the case especially for nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff. Healthcare professionals work round-the-clock as hospitals are open 24/7 the whole year.
And to know the best and worst things about working in health care facilities during Christmas time, we asked a few medical professionals, and we got an inbox full of responses.
“The best thing might be the shared camaraderie and suffering with other people of the health team, which isn't that good after all. The worst? The obvious downside, of course, is not spending important bonding time with family (some who you only see on these occasions). But more than that, you see tons of sick people that could have celebrated with their families. You see dying people nonstop, even on holidays. You see how people are failed miserably by inequities in life and health. Jesus was born in a manger, inaccessible to services. Two millennia later, a ton of people are still born, living, and dying in a world of inequity.”
-Leonard Javier, Intern, UP-PGH
“Maraming pagkain at maraming gifts from patients. Pero malungkot because you don’t get to spend Christmas with your family and you’ll miss the fun of going out for a Christmas shopping. The only thing that is fulfilling when you are working in a hospital during Christmas is that smile you give to your patient…kapag napagaan mo yung sakit na nararamdaman nila.”
- Maan Domingo-Andan Former Cardio Vascular Nurse 3, Philippine Heart Center
“Worst is you won’t be able to be with your family, and it would be hard to request for a leave of absence because everybody wants to file for it. But the best would be you will be receiving more income on payday, and you could celebrate Christmas with your co-workers and friends.”
-Laurence Tagaylo Staff Nurse, St. Luke's Medical Center
“You won’t be able to drink wine during Christmas dinner (night shifter here! So I work Christmas night haha) but seriously, not being able to appreciate Christmas because you're stuck at work. But the good thing is being able to comfort a patient when they're at the lowest point in their life during one of the best times of the year. That's one thing I won't get tired of.”
-Kaitlin Danielle Capacio, US Nurse
“One of the cons is seeing your patients at their lowest point/current state after spending a happy Christmas Eve with family.”
-Charmaine Inah, Respiratory Therapist
“The best thing about it is being with patients not just as a nurse, but as a part of their family too. I also believe that your presence is already a great comfort for them...making them feel that they are not alone. Not forgetting about the double pay as part of the best things hehe.”
-Joemarie Cruz, Nurse
“Working in a hospital setting, ‘yong spirit ng pagbibigayan din ‘yong madalas na makikita. It can be the best and worst at the same time kasi bakit mo pa hihintayin yung Christmas season kung p’wede naman na everyday maging mapagbigay at mabait ka sa mga taong nakapaligid sa ‘yo.
-Jhoannalyn Rocha, Nurse
“‘Pag may mga nanganganak during Christmas season, ang saya lang kasi itinuturing nilang Christmas gift yung baby nila tapos nagiging part ako ng gift na ‘yon from above. Sa tulad naming mga nasa medical field, minsan wala kaming choice kundimagdutydahil kailangan 24 hours yung service na maibigay dahil buhay ang pinaguusapan. Nakakalungkot na hindi mo makakasama yung family mo during holidays dahil nasa hospital ka pero magiging best naman yun ‘pag na-appreciate ka ng patients mo.
-Alyzza Lizardo, Nurse
“Double pay, more money to come when you work on a holiday! But the bad thing about it is I’m not with my family. As an hospital staff, I need to sacrifice.”
-Ihna Alvarez, Nurse
“May mga time na maiiwan sa mga gala dahil may call of duty. Ending, yung family ko namamasyal, ako nasa duty. The best ‘yong simpleng thank you at greetings ng patient dahil alam nilang ‘di mo kasama ung family mo pero nasa duty ka at naappreciate ka nila. S’yempre the small tokens from the patients and co-workers na on duty.”
-Niña Renalyn Sumaya, Nurse
“You get to help people who need your presence during this time of the year, and you get to help them and be part of their happiness in getting better if they are sick or in emergency cases during the holiday season. Also kasi double pay and may bonus.”
-Chariz Ann Alandy-Dy, Registered Medical Technologist
Christmas is the season of thanksgiving. These people may not be present at Christmas dinner, but the tradition still goes on as they celebrate the special holidays with inpatients who seem to be their substitute family. And the true essence of Christmas for them? It’s the moments they build with other people and holiday cheer they share despite the all-year-round worry and stress—these are more than a gift one can have. Cheers!