Our recent Holiday Hellth infographic shed light on the additional stress put on health care workers over the holidays. For many students in our medical programs, working during this festive time will likely soon be a reality. During this time, more than ever, it is important to recognize the essential role that health care workers (and soon many of you reading this post) play during the holiday season and to show them how much they are appreciated.
Health care workers are the first faces you’ll see
Health care workers are frequently the first point of contact for patients and their families. When you are admitted into the ER or go in to an appointment, a health care worker will likely greet you and help with your intake process.
Health care workers serve as primary caretakers
They are also often the main source of patient care.1 For hospital patients that require long-term care or in-home care, a health care worker may be responsible for administering medication, distributing meals and helping patients with their everyday needs. This may especially be the case for the 1.5 million nursing home residents in the U.S.2
Health care workers are always there
It’s impossible to know when you might need emergency medical attention. But regardless of the time of day, there is always an emergency room health care staff available to provide care. This is especially reassuring to know since approximately 5,800 people each year are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for unexpected holiday decorating-related falls.3
How can you thank your health care workers?
So, what can you do to show the health care workers in your life how much they are appreciated? Here are a couple suggestions:
- Volunteer at your local hospital, clinic or nursing home
- Organize a group of carolers to visit a health care facility and help spread holiday cheer
- Send your doctor’s office a holiday card
1 White, E.K. Every Week Should Be Nurses Appreciation Week (2013). http://blog.tangentmedical.com/blog/every-week-should-be-nurses-appreciation-week-2
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nursing Home Care (2013). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/nursingh.htm
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fall-Related Injuries During the Holiday Season — United States, 2000—2003 (2004). http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5348a1.htm