The holidays are a special time. The laughter of friends, magical lights, memories making, and, of course, some fun parties to attend. Travel nurses get to enjoy the holidays in many special ways. Even though you’re far away, you can still feel connected this holiday season. Check out the below tips for making the most of the Holiday season while on assignment.
1. Make Your Place Look Festive
While you may not be able to nail up lights in your comfy temporary apartment, you should be able to decorate in some simple ways. A small decorative tree wrapped with a couple of strands of lights can bring some holiday cheer to your new home. Scented candles or a fresh pine wreath can also conjure up the feelings of the season. Check out these Holiday decorating ideas for small spaces.
2. Plan Your Holiday Meal in Advance
There’s nothing worse than coming back to your apartment and to find leftovers in the refrigerator. So plan ahead and do some unique holiday baking (or call your favorite restaurant the day before and get a meal to go). By doing this, you can make sure you have a delicious meal that is perfect for your holiday. Taste of Home has some great easy Holiday dinner menu ideas.
3. Attend Work Holiday Events
You might be tempted just to keep working through the parties at the unit, but don’t do it. Enjoy the lavish treatment just like the other employees. You are part of this hospital, even though your time here may be short, so make a point to feel special too.
Other fun ideas that you can involve yourself in would be helping to decorate the unit with tinsel and trees. Or, strike a tune and sing some Christmas carols with a group. These simple acts will bring cheer to the families and patients who are there.
4. Give Simple Gifts to Others
You may have just met them, but suddenly these coworkers feel like a family to you. For any nurse who has worked for any time at all, you know the feeling of family that coworkers and management can bring. Show your love to them by small, simple gifts of Bath & Body works lotions, candles, or a gift card to a favorite store. These are just sweet ways to show that you appreciate the team. Get some great gift ideas for any budget here.
5. Express Gratitude to Others
Have you ever received a thank you note from a patient or family member? Remember how heartwarming it felt to you? Take some time and return the thankfulness in a small note of gratitude to those who mean so much to you.
It can be so easy to get all caught up in buying someone the perfect present, but maybe your words of kindness will touch their heart in a special way that a gift can’t. Here are some great ideas to write notes of gratitude to:
- Letters to family or friends.
- Local police and EMS crews that you come into contact when working
- Housekeeping, secretaries, and CNA’s on the floor you are working on
- Wounded and recovering US soldiers – Holiday Mail for Heroes
6. Work When You Can but Don’t Overdo It
Yes, you are the travel nurse who is there to help with short staffing but make sure you do not purposely give yourself the short straw every single day. You are a human being too. Be careful not to pick up extra shifts unless you can handle it (in simple terms, don’t volunteer for an 18-hour shift when you have to be at work the next morning). Get some rest too!
7. Attend Local Festivities
One of the great perks of working the holidays in a new town is getting to see that city’s celebrations. Look in the local newspaper or online for fun events such as parades, Christmas tree lighting times, or candlelight ceremonies. Check out the Top Holiday Light Celebrations across America, and if you’re lucky to be nearby, go check them out!
8. Network with Other Travel Nurses
Call up another coworker and ask if they’d like to come with you to a local event. Get a coffee before the parade or a quick lunch together. Networking doesn’t have to be about business or even talking about work; good networking amongst coworkers is all about creating good relationships and friendships.
9. Bring Some Cheer to Others
You may have admitted them or just seen in the around the floor. Visiting patients in the hospital is a great idea, especially around the holidays. Drop in on some of your favorite patients if you have a day off. Just chat with them for a few minutes about non-medical things; ask them what their favorite memories of the holidays are, or what was one present they loved as a child? Simple times of laughter and sharing can bring joy to others, and maybe even to you as well. Who knows, you might just stumble on a new holiday tradition for yourself!
The holidays are a busy time at home, at work, and when you are traveling. But with a little bit of holly-jolly effort, you can feel connected this holiday season even though you’re far away.