“It is my second family”: Healthcare over the holidays, part 1

A series on what it’s like to work during the festive season. Our first installment: Celebrating with your colleagues.

What’s it like to work in an emergency room over Christmas and New Year’s? We asked the more than 500,000 healthcare professionals on Figure 1, our global case-sharing platform over the weekend of Dec. 5–6, 2015. Here are some of their best replies.

I work in a children’s emergency room. While I’d rather be home with my own family, the doctors and nurses I work with are like family and we always try to make the best of it! Christmas morning potluck, combining our breaks so we can each go home for an hour or so, sparkling cider and party hats on New Year’s Eve, etc. I find families are also extra appreciative of our work during the holidays. 
Susan Janes, pediatric emergency room nurse, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

It is my second family. We live the same things and we know how it feels to work on these days. We organize a big buffet, where each person brings something to share. Doctors, nurses, no matter the title, we celebrate as one big family. 
Nurse, Quebec, Canada.

As a paramedic, working in healthcare on the holidays is good and bad. Usually someone cooks a big holiday dinner at the firehouse, and I get to eat with my second family. That being said, I don’t usually get to see my real family. 
Heather Collette, paramedic, Pennsylvania.

Working on holidays is not as bad as people think. Yes, we miss our families, but to be honest, I spend more time at work with my fellow nurses and doctors some weeks than I spend at home. They are my family, too. And there is the perk that especially us nurses get: patients’ family members bringing us food, treats and goodies! This past July 4th I got the pleasure of being able to take five patients from my unit to a perfect lookout to watch the fireworks. We all stood together, told stories and they were genuinely appreciative.
Shannon Silber, nurse, Baltimore, MD.


Share and discuss real-time medical cases with dedicated medical professionals like these on the Figure 1 app. Interested in learning more about Figure 1? Email us at communications@figure1.com

Other installments in this series:

Celebrating with your colleagues.

The most difficult cases.

Missing your loved ones.

The holiday rush.

Care when it matters most.