Spending every living moment in hospital can be a drag around holiday season, but us nurses try to make the best of it. 

So here it is…the ‘How you know it’s Christmas time in hospital’ list!

1) decorations. Everywhere. Often tacky and cheap from pound shops or home made from plastic bottles, gloves well past their sell-by date and expired syringes. Turning an enema into a Christmas tree topper is easier than you think…

2) nurses adorning themselves with Christmas paraphernalia…Christmas hats, pins, earrings, socks… I own a hairband with Christmas bells on it, so everyone knows where I am because it jingles everytime I shake my head in exasperation.

3) food is everywhere. Patients give us sweets. Their relatives give us sweets. The talented bakers amongst the hospital staff bring in their wares. The hospital catering company gives all the wards a huge Christmas cake. The ward smells of bleach, body fluids and cinnamon.

4) lots of admissions. The place will be brimming with elderly people. Because December brings along bronchitis season. There are also cases of ‘elderly dumping’ where loving adult children dump their aged parents on the steps of A&E because they do not want them to spoil their holidays…you know, with their toffee-eating and cardigan-wearing, grandchild-adoring and love-needing ways.

5) our organisational skills come alive: staff Christmas party, Christmas tea, secret Santa, over time, exchanging shifts…

6) nurses coming to work in full make-up…because they wouldn’t have washed it off after the previous night’s festivities. 

7) a bit of catty-ness because everyone is fighting to get the 24th and 31st December off.

8) everyone constantly talking about cooking…exchanging recipes and tips for the perfect roast or perfect mince pie.

9) nurses humming Christmas carols while doing mundane tasks.

10) whenever a patient leaves we call out in unison : bye, merry Christmas! And then swear a little.

Merry Christmas y’all!