Night Shift on Christmas’ Eve

Have you ever been at a hospital on Christmas’ Eve? For most people the answer will probably be no; however, for many nurses, being away from their family during the holidays is a “normal” event. I personally never got used to it. I hated having to choose between Thanksgiving and Christmas or between Christmas and New Year. It was to me like being torn between two parents in the middle of a child custody battle but I was usually too busy trying to take care of my patients so I was left with whatever people didn’t think they wanted. That was until the holidays started to approach then everybody (including those that didn’t care to even give you a lunch break) started to ask if I wanted to switch with them because “something” just came up and they can’t work. I honestly didn’t care much about switching my days (sometime even several times and with several people) because at the end I love my job and once you clock in all celebrations sort of go on a stand still except for the random decorations put up in a common afford to make the unit look “merry”. To me this time bring memories of a very special patient that spent many of their days alone despite of the season. I can clearly remember Ms. Betty’s face when I would go into the room to cheer her up and ask her about her childhood stories between pushing meds through her PEG tube. And cheering her was not difficult, she was what we used to call a “tenant”, she had no family or money so she came in for abdominal pain and stayed for good. Even the times in which I had to check her blood glucose (which she didn’t hesitate to tell me every time how much she hated and even push me away) was a good time for her, simply because us, diligent caring uniformed elves caring syringes and bitter pills was all that Santa sent to her Christmas after Christmas.

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