A career in the healthcare industry almost guarantees working during the holiday season. Undoubtedly the busiest time of year for healthcare professionals, the months of November and December often see an increase of hospital and emergency room visits. From general holiday mishaps and medical emergencies to psychiatric and non-medical issues, healthcare workers can anticipate long, demanding days.
This year, COVID-19 adds a new list of challenges, including low resources, crunched staffing, and overrun facilities. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that medical assistants can expect to put in some extra time. While working long hours during the holidays may be hectic and tiring, there are tips and tricks to help you survive the busy season and enjoy your holidays as much as possible.
Below, learn about seven simple things medical assistants can do to keep the holidays merry and bright—even if you’re working overtime.
1. Plan Ahead
If you’re working during the winter season, then you know your schedule is bound to get hectic. Try completing your holiday to-do list early. Finish your gift shopping, decorate your home, bake your favorite treats… whatever is on your list, get it done in a timely fashion to avoid any unnecessary stress.
2. Set Expectations
If your work schedule is concrete and you know you will be working for the entirety of the holiday season, then it's time to set expectations and plan ahead with your loved ones. Communicate with your family about which celebrations you can and cannot attend. While they may not fully understand your job's demands, assure them that you still plan to celebrate and spend time with them—safely or virtually.
3. Celebrate Your Holiday Early
If you can't celebrate on the exact date, choose a different day. After all, the holidays are what you make of them. If your family and friends have a flexible schedule, plan a festive (and safe) get together, uphold traditions, and make the most of your time off.
For tips on keeping everyone safe during your celebrations, read our blog How to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe This Holiday Season.
4. Use Technology to Stay Connected
This year has been the year for Zoom and other virtual hangouts. If you can't get together with your friends and family in person or you’re not comfortable with the idea, make your gatherings a virtual affair. Be there while your children open presents or while your family lights the next candle on the menorah—all from the nurse's station or break room.
5. Be Your Own Santa
Working during the festive season can be a tad bleak and exhausting. Get yourself through it by putting yourself on the nice list and give yourself some gifts or moments to look forward to. Pack your favorite meals or order in for your shifts. Book a spa day or other fun activity after the holidays. Splurge on those shoes you've been eyeing for months. Whatever it is, make sure it brings you joy.
6. Put Your Health First
In the final months of the year, people become more susceptible to getting sick. The busy nature of the holiday season, the stress from working, cold temperatures, and flu season increases your risk of contracting an illness. Combat this by putting your health first. Drink plenty of water, maintain a healthy diet, exercise when you can, get plenty of rest, and care for your mental health.
7. Keep Things Festive
Working around the clock doesn't mean things have to be boring! Celebrate the season with fun activities. Decorate your station with colorful garland or lights. Organize some holiday festivities for your patients and co-workers. Put on your favorite, jolly accessories—like a Santa hat or a snowman badge clip. Whatever you do, do it with a smile on your face and the spirit of the season in your heart.
Time to Begin Your Healthcare Career
If you have a passion for helping others and enjoy caring for your community, consider a medical assistant career. At Woodruff, you will receive a high-quality education that will prepare you for every job aspect. You'll have the opportunity to work one-on-one with healthcare industry professionals while receiving in-class instruction and real-world training experience. Our programs are flexible and affordable, so you can focus on earning your degree. Want to know more? Visit our website for details, or contact us today with any questions.