The general population seems to be under the impression that the Thanksgiving feast is the be-all and end-all of the holiday. While I do love me some roasted turkey with cranberry sauce, topped off with a piece of buttery smooth pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving holiday is a lot more than the delicacies it’s become synonymous with. Not buying it? I’ll prove it! Many nurses are on call Thanksgiving, their feasts consisting of carrot sticks brought from home in a Ziploc bag. And yes, they do miss their families, and yes, I’m sure there’s a little twinge of FOMO. But they’re happy to be doing their jobs. Why? Because they’re THANKFUL! And that my friends, is the key element of the holiday. Now just in case this is your first holiday shift, and that twinge of FOMO is more like a searing burn, here’s a list of reasons why you ought to relax and just be grateful that you’re in the position you’re in:)
1. Be Thankful For Flexibility
Nurses have one of the most flexible jobs out there. There’s no stuffy 9 to 5, five days a week. Unless you choose such a schedule. Interested in having 4-5 days off every single week? No sweat! Three 12-hour shifts and you’re done, done, DONE! And get this- if a mini vacation is calling your name, you can simply work your 3 shifts, 3 days in a row and voila, Miami here we come! Best of all, there’s absolutely no need to dip into paid-time-off hours. Sweet!
2. Be Thankful For Your Paycheck
As a nurse, you are an official member of middle class America. No more dead end retail jobs that pay $8 an hour. No more living paycheck to paycheck. No more wondering where next month’s rent is going to come from. It’s unbelievable how many things you can do with a 2-year(!) nursing degree that allows you to pay your bills each month and eat too!
3. Be Thankful For The Thank You’s
Nursing has gotten a rap for being one of the most thankless jobs on the planet. And yet, you’d be surprised at how many times patients and their families DO actually thank you, whether verbally or through a small gesture. Keep a journal; a ‘thank you’ journal, and write down every time you were thanked. You’ll be amazed to see what a difference you’ve made and how many lives you’ve touched. It’s humbling and empowering all at once.
4. Be Thankful For Your Coworkers
Nurse friendships are like no other. The medical world, to be perfectly blunt, is INSANE! And the people that keep you normal amid the madness are the people you work with. So the thing with nurse unit friendships… it’s not a regular coworker relationship. Your nurse buddies are the people you’ve cried with, laughed with, experienced horror stories (that ultimately turned into great conversation pieces) with, among other things. The bond is unbreakable and one that should be cherished forever.
5. Be thankful For Your Uniform
Yup, I went there. If all else fails, there’s no way in the world you don’t feel thankful for the fact that you get to wear scrubs every single day. I mean, SCRUBS! They feel like pajamas, they have drawstrings for goodness sake, (so feel free to overindulge in that pumpkin pie) and to be perfectly practical- is there any other article of clothing in your wardrobe that can withstand what a set of scrubs can and that can be washed and dried a gazillion times and still keep going??? Well then…I rest my case!
Happy Thanksgiving from the MSC team!!