By December 15, 2008 0 Comments

Not home for the holidays

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For many of us, the holiday season can mean a number of things… It’s a time for reflection, a time to be thankful. It’s extra time to be shared with family and friends, a time for homecomings, or it could just be any other day on the calendar. A lot of us may take the holidays for granted, assuming that the world stops for us to celebrate and share in creating new memories. If only that were true.

For many of you working as traveling nurses, or nursing in general, you know firsthand that trauma and tragedy never rests, especially during the festive times. As I see it, one of the greatest challenges working as a healthcare professional would be working during the holidays, but I can also see a positive side as well. It’s times like these where you take a step back and really appreciate what you have. Everyday you witness just how lucky we are and that alone should be enough to get you through. But there are other ways to deal with not being around for the holidays. Here are a few examples…

1) As a travel nurse your schedule fluctuates and can be very flexible. As the holiday season approaches, make note of the times you have off and make the most of them. When you can find a time that works with your family or friends, plan something that is sure to be memorable and it will seem as if your absence from the actual day never happened.

2) Explain the nature of your work to those near and dear, especially children. Make it clear that the demands of your job is different from that of other parents. Do not assume that they already know this, do this to ensure that they are not disappointed when you can’t make it to see them narrate in their school’s holiday program.

3) By knowing ahead of time that you won’t be able to be there, leave your loved ones a hand written note for them to discover at a later time. Share the reasons of what that person means to you… Remember that feeling of finding a note by someone you cared for and how it made you feel?

4) Plan ahead. The holidays happen the same time of year, every year. Maybe in year’s past you failed to inquire about vacation time before all the time was spoken for. Schedule your next assignment accordingly. Nursing isn’t the only job that is stressful and demanding, so don’t think your partner or families should be the only ones compromising . You can make an effort too!

Nobody said nursing was going to be easy and working over the holidays is no exception. Maybe you miss out on the family fun this year and have to work through the season. But it’s possible as a reward for your hard work this year you may get to be home for the holidays next year!

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About the Author:

Patrick Fuerstenau here. Born in Kentucky, raised in Germany, landed in Nebraska and still here. I've been involved with Marketing and Advertising for over a decade. It all began with an internship at an ad agency in Omaha, followed by a 9 year stint as a graphic artist at the lone major newspaper in Omaha. A friend of mine told me about an opening at her company and said that it was the best gig she's ever had... So I decided to spread my proverbial wings and see what I could do for them and vice versa. So here I am at Medical Solutions and am going on my 3rd year as a Marketing Specialist for a great travel nursing company. This by far has been a major blessing in my life. I love the work I get to do just as much as I love the people who make up this fabulous company. I can see myself here for a long time... As long as they'll have me. Now that we've got the career timeline out of the way... Let me tell you a little about who I am. I am oh so passionate about the game of futbol! I've been playing soccer since the age of 8 and am still playing today. If I couldn't at least kick the ball around, I don't know what I would do with myself. I fear getting old. I also have a strong love for the arts... Music, Visual arts, Film, Design... pretty much anything and everything arty. I'm happy go lucky and am always looking to have a good time. Just ask my manager! And I love writing about travel nursing.

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