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Tips for NP’s and PA’s to Survive The Holidays

np santa hat

Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants get extremely busy during the holidays. A variety of cases increase during the holidays, and not all of them pretty. That means that the best time of the year can become one of the most difficult times of the year. If you want to survive the holidays, try using these tips.

Be Flexible

One of the things that is bound to happen during the holiday season is call outs. That means that you need to be prepared to be flexible. Who knows when you might need someone to step up for you. Plus those extra hours mean that you can do more during the holidays. Maybe get an extra gift for that special someone.
If you haven’t already learned, these overtime shifts and last minute carryovers are just part of working in the medical field. It just gets harder to do over the holidays. Another way to help you get over these extra hours is to view them as helping someone make their holiday season better.

Be Prepared

As we already mentioned during the holiday season there will be all kinds of cases that come up, and the not so pretty ones are included in that. You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared for whatever comes through the door. Because we expect the holiday season to be cheery we tend to be a little bit more vulnerable during this time. By preparing we can be ready to take on what comes without having consequences afterward.
Most of us know that it is great to have a steady tempo of patients but when trauma cases or combative psych patients come in, it can be the worst on the holidays. When you do your best in each case, though, you should feel good. You are applying yourself to one of the most noble careers out there.

Decorate At Work (And Everywhere Else)

Holiday decorations can make the holiday season a little jollier for everyone. Try to decorate at work as well as at home. Depending on where you work, you might have to have more generic decorations but anything is better than having a bland office during the holiday.
Don’t decorate by yourself, though. Get your coworkers to join in the merriment. You might even see if your boss will let you take a little time to decorate before or after work when you aren’t busy.
Don’t forget to throw a little bit of season cheer on your locker, your scrubs, and your ID tag. You never know whose day you might brighten with that little bit of holiday flair. Sometimes that one NP or PA who wears the Santa hat on Christmas day can make a big difference in their patient’s experience.

Celebrate Everywhere

No matter when you work, you will want to celebrate with your children. Don’t let that hinder your holiday celebration. While you work, celebrate with your coworkers. Tell people to have a good holiday, smile, hum, sing, do whatever you can to spread the holiday cheer. Others will pick up on your positive attitude and do the same.
It also is a good idea to arrange some sort of holiday celebration with your coworkers. This could be a potluck at work (medical field potlucks are the best). You could also arrange to go to a meal after work with them. A last idea is to do a gift exchange or secret Santa event. All of these ideas not only spread joy but build team spirit.
Don’t Forget Your Patients

When you get into the medical field you think that it would be hard to forget your parents. When spreading holiday cheer that isn’t hard, though. You might focus too much on cheering with your coworkers. But instead, make sure that you are cheerful with everyone you encounter, whether that be the security officer doing rounds, the janitor, the administrator, or most importantly the patient.
Remember that whether you are the NP, PA, doctor, charge nurse, RN, or the patient, you are still a person on the holiday season and those around you are too. Get ready, get set, save someone’s holiday!

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