Since this week’s theme is holiday traditions, I thought I’d focus on hospitals. A hospital is a place that should feel like home for those who are hospitalized during that particular time. As a nurse-in-training, when I asked my clients what their daily morning rounds were like, one thing became clear. It means I miss my bed, my family, my home. This feeling intensifies during the holiday season. As a healthcare worker, how can you make their stay in the hospital feel like home? Here are some holiday traditions and activities you can incorporate into your visit.
1. Decorate the nurse station.
- of. Work with your team to get in the holiday spirit! Add garlands, mini Christmas trees, ornaments, music, treats and anything else you need to make your space feel cozy. Have fun with it and get creative. Remember, patients in the hospital also need a little fun.
2. Visitors and families can bring holiday decorations and special family traditions to the hospital to make residents feel more at home.
- of. Social workers (and those who facilitate family reunification) should encourage family traditions to be maintained during hospitalization (if possible). Set up technology for FaceTime calls and encourage family and friends to visit. , bring gifts and make your clients feel involved even when you’re not home.
3. Install the Christmas tree for the inclusive unit.
- of. Invite patients and staff to participate. Set up a unit Christmas tree and customize it to your liking! Add paper-laminated ornaments with each client’s initials for a unique touch that makes them feel important and belonging.
4. Make hot holiday snacks and drinks (according to dietary needs).
- of. Host an event and fill your meal tray with holiday treats. Be mindful of each client’s dietary restrictions during this process.
5. Facilitate secret Santa gift exchanges and Christmas morning gift openings.
- of. Organize secret Santa gift exchanges among staff, have family members bring presents to clients, and let everyone participate. If necessary, staff can also budget and treat clients who may not have family members.
6. Holiday photo shoot.
- of. Take a picture of the unit that can be put on the tree or a picture of each patient as needed. Be as creative as you can when incorporating clients. It doesn’t have to be an expensive intervention or a time-consuming task. When you feel loved and cared for, even the smallest of gestures can make a difference in your day.
I’m sure there are more ideas you can incorporate and hospitals are already using. Even just playing some holiday-themed music might make all the difference! It’s up to you. Tradition is about happiness and creating a place like home for your loved ones. There is no right or wrong way to do this. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.