The holiday season is a busy time of the year, both for shoppers and healthcare professionals, but for different reasons. While people outside of the hospital pack the malls, fill their shopping bags, and prepare to feast on the delights the season has to offer, doctors and nurses scramble to make sure the sick stay alive. If you’re a healthcare professional, here are five ways you can prep for the holiday season.

Accept and Embrace the Time of Year

Having your cellphone nearby and remaining on high alert is part of being a healthcare professional during the holidays. It might seem aggravating and annoying when you have to run off in the middle of a holiday dinner to tend to your healthcare responsibilities, but that’s part of your job. Instead of fighting it and fussing, accept the realities of your situation and embrace them with a positive attitude. Take heed in the fact that you’re helping someone else out. After all, that’s why you got into the profession in the first place, isn’t it?

Prepare As Much As Possible in Advance

If you know you’re on the list of people who will have to work during the holiday season, try to plan and prepare in advance so you can make the most of your time at home with your loved ones. Just because you’ll be tending to sickness and injuries on the traditional day of celebration doesn’t mean you can’t reserve another for spending time with your family. The holidays are all about gathering around the dinner table and enjoying each other’s company. It doesn’t matter which day you choose to do this, as long as you do it.

Don’t Let the Moment Bring You Down

Chances are you’re going to encounter some sad situations while working throughout the holiday season, especially if you work in a critical care unit or the emergency room. This infographic about common holiday accidents illustrates some of the more prevalent ways people end up at the hospital during the holidays. Although it’s the holiday season and some situations can seem overly sad and depressing, you need to remain calm and remember that this is all just a part of your job. Take a deep breath and drive on.

Throw a Staff Holiday Party

No, not a Christmas party, but a holiday one that includes people of all backgrounds and religions. There’s no doubt that the holiday season is stressful for everyone working in the hospital environment, whether you’re a doctor, nurse, or an employee working in medical records. Reserve a day (or night) where your department can take a load off and enjoy each other’s company. While spending the holiday season with your family and close friends is optimal, doing so with your coworkers can also be rewarding because they understand how you feel.

Take Advantage of Other Holidays

While this isn’t necessarily a direct way to prepare for the holiday season in December, you should still try to make the most out of holidays at other times of the year so you don’t feel so drained during the major one. Whether it’s gathering around a turkey feast for Thanksgiving, celebrating fourth of July with a plume of fireworks, or taking a beach vacation to celebrate the end of summer on Labor Day, make sure you treat yourself a couple other times during the year so that when things get hectic around the new year, you’re ready for it.

OK, so when you were in med or nursing school they told you about what you’d have to deal with during the holiday season, right? Well, remember that you chose to work in this profession even with the all stresses it comes with. Remember to reassure yourself that you were meant for this job and that nothing can get in your way.

Are you a healthcare professional? How do you plan for the holidays? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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Featured photo credit: A stethoscope shaping a heart and a clipboard on a medical uniform, closeup via Shutterstock

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