The Truth about the Holidays in Healthcare
Life on Loud
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But sometimes, it’s also the hardest time of the year. During the holidays – whether you are a provider or a recipient of care – the relational and emotional burden can be amplified. Healthcare providers have the weight on their shoulders just as much as the healthcare recipients do. They are human beings, and have just as many challenges as the people they care for.
Why the Holidays are Hard
Holidays tend to bring depression, particularly with Christmas. Scrubs and gloves don’t protect you from the pain of difficult memories, or inoculate you against the holiday blues, the strain of being a single parent, the struggle to provide the Christmas they want our family to have, the memory of a loved one who is lost, the pressure of it being a “last Christmas” with a sick loved one.
Caregivers get the flu, get cancer, and suffer setbacks. They face child-rearing demands, financial challenges, and tons of them are working on the holiday.
Leading Your Team During The Holidays
As the leader, it’s so important to remember that The White Coat Isn’t Bulletproof. Be sensitive to the fact that everyone in your organization is giving and serving others, on top of all that they are still giving to their home and loved ones.
One Thing You Could Do
So, what is one thing that you could do that would support the relational and emotional needs of your team this year? I’ve witnessed some fantastic examples of what a leader can do to support their teams during the holidays. From the department director who took cookies and punch to each person on duty on Christmas Day, to the team that set up decorations in a fun theme and had little activities and surprises each day for a week, to the supervisor who took the time to intentionally recognize and thank each person on the team for specific attitudes and actions around the holidays – I’ve seen a lot of great examples of supportive leadership during the holidays.
A Different Kind of Celebration
While you think about what you can do to support your team, keep one thing your priority: CELEBRATION. Now, I’m not talking about celebrating the holiday itself. Those celebrations are fun, but the real support comes from celebrating the efforts and achievement of the team. Successes, saves, and learns.
I hope you take the time to support your team emotionally through this holiday season. We can never let ourselves get too busy to do the most important thing, and that is valuing and developing the priceless asset that is our people.
Encouragement For You
Also, if you need some encouragement, feel free to sign up for the weekly inspirational email I send out to my friends and colleagues. You deserve the encouragement as much as your people do, so make sure you’re getting your needs met this holiday season as well!