As a healthcare worker, you know that working hospital shifts during the holidays can be less than ideal – for you and your patients (especially children.)

The holiday season is a time when family and friends get together to make lasting memories and reflect upon the past year. That’s why anyone staying in the hospital over the holidays will need a little extra holiday cheer. And that’s where you can come in.

The good news is there are a number of simple opportunities to bring joy into healthcare facilities during the holiday season. It’s relatively easy to help turn the hospital into a place where celebrating the holidays can happen without distracting from work and while keeping your patient’s wellbeing in mind.  Here are some suggestions on how to do it.

Embrace the Holiday Spirit

A great way to lift everyone’s spirits is by playing holiday music and providing holiday movies – both can be a great way to cheer up patients and families. So prepare a musical playlist and check on access to holiday movies so families can watch together. After all, the most important part of the holiday season for your patients is spending time with those they love.

Find Out What’s allowed

Before you put your celebration ideas into full swing, take time to learn whether there are certain items or activities you should avoid. For example, some patients may have issues such as a weakened immune system, so nurses and healthcare providers will need to follow some special precautions. Other patients may also need to avoid things like non-hospital foods, live plants, and fresh-cut flowers. That’s why it’s important to know the details of your patient’s stay.

Decorate the Room

Decorating the hospital room for Christmas and Hanukkah can do a lot to cheer up both the patient and their family. You can start a wall of holiday cards, bring in a mini Christmas tree or menorah, and consider hanging some lights. Making decorations is also great to keep kids distracted during what might be a difficult time. Family photos and holiday cards can also help warm up the room.

Provide Diet-Approved Treats

Hot chocolate, warm apple cider and pumpkin pie all help to ring in the holiday season. For patients on sugar-free diets, arranging fruit or vegetables in the shape of turkey or a Christmas tree can serve as a healthier yet festive option.

Deliver Holiday Cards to Patients

A special note on a food tray delivery or a season’s greetings card delivered to the room lets patients know that others are thinking of them during the holiday season.

Dress Up!

One way to cheer up patients and colleagues who can’t be home for the holidays, is to come into your shifts in holiday wear. Though a new holiday uniform may not be a feasible option, adding some holiday flair – such as reindeer antlers, a Santa hat or an “ugly” Christmas sweater helps to spread the holiday joy to all you encounter.


As a leading family- and woman-owned healthcare employment agency, SpotOn Recruiting is experienced in helping physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants find great jobs nationwide. If you’re a health professional looking to make your next career move, visit our website and see how our experienced team can help you meet your goals!  


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