If you are a nurse or in health care chances are many of you are working this holiday weekend. You might be bummed about missing time at all those family events. However, there could be an upside to that.

I have worked more than I have been off in 21 years at the state mental hospital. Even though I complain and whine each time I have to go in and leave my family, I always meet someone that makes me stop and appreciate being able to share the day with them.

The staff on the unit I have been blessed to work with go out of their way to make the day fun. The staff will bring in something to eat and exchange lots of giggles and laughs. With all the food we have in the office we usually share with the patients that are up on the hall. (I know we are not supposed to but their smile is worth it.) We try to make their day special too.

If you have to look at the bright side of missing out on family events you now have a good excuse to leave early if the crowd is loud and if that one family member that usually makes your eyes roll back in your head is present. Smile and blame work.

I love the reason for the season better than anyone. The holiday gets lost in all the hustle and bustle. Television programs show the perfect Christmas or Thanksgiving with huge fancy meals, loads of gifts and trees that scrape the ceiling. The average person cannot celebrate that way. This causes a lot of people to be sad and miss out of the reason we are even celebrating.

I have listened to my patients over the years tell me stories about how they grew up and either the holidays were not even recognized, or they spent the day at the soup kitchen. Even if we are working taking care of other peoples’ family we still have a reason to smile.

Thought I’d lift some spirits by sharing my top 10 reasons that working holidays is a perk of nursing:

  • Excuse not to go to a party you did not want to attend.
  • Getting paid ‘holiday time’ or getting some extra time off.
  • A less hectic shift, as many procedures might be postponed.
  • A good excuse for missing those family gatherings.
  • Missing that one family member that makes your skin crawl.
  • A plus: is meeting patients’ families.
  • Time to celebrate with your colleagues, eating the whole shift because it is there.
  • Days off during the typical work week.
  • The Doctors and social workers won’t be in the office
    What ever you do – Smile and Enjoy the Season

Angela Brooks has worked in a state-funded psychiatric hospital in Kentucky for 21 years as a nurse, assisting sometimes-dangerous patients who come in shackled and cuffed. At AngelaBrook.com, she offers stories of life on the inside of a psychiatric ward, and the site, as well as her company, offers support for nurses in the mental health field and helps them bring passion into their role at work.

On her BlogTalkRadio show, Mental Happiness with Angela Brooks, she shares some of her experiences “learning to love those others have forsaken” and gives tips on how to bring peace to your own life.

Everyday we share insights, strategies and even some of our biggest secrets to business on our Facebook page!  Join the fun and connect with like-minded business owners and Nurses EVERY single day!  Click here and "Like" Angela's page NOW!

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