A (Christmas) Day In The Life 2023

deb The festive period is a special time, and we do all that we can to bring the spirit of the season into our wards and Departments. 

This Christmas Day, many children, young people and their families will be with us, cared for by our teams, which includes around 150 of our fab nurses. 

We've interviewed our nurses to find out what it is like to work a Christmas Day, from the Delivery Suite at the Women's Hospital to working in the Crisis team at our Mental Health Services. We will share their stories below throughout the festive period!

A Christmas Day in the Life of a Children’s Hospital Facilities Supervisor

Mya wearing green uniform standing next to a light up Santa What is your role and how long have you worked at BWC?

My name is Mya Rai and I am a Supervisor in the Facilities Team at our Children’s Hospital. I have been in post for more than five years.

How many Christmas Days have you worked?

I have worked a couple of Christmas Days over the past five years however this will be my first as the supervisor on duty

What does a typical Christmas Day on shift consist of?

The day consists of managing the team and ensuring that there are adequate staffing resources in place. l will welcome and greet the team as they arrive to work, while at the same time wishing each and every one a Merry Christmas.

Once the team members are within the allocated areas of work, a priority of mine will be to visit each one to hold conversations, find out their plans for the day’s events and listen to their stories from the early morning events prior to them coming into work as many will open presents very early in the morning with their family members.

My focus will also be to ensure that all team members are enjoying the festivities and that they are able to participate in the activities that take place on their wards. All our wards include our team members as part of their extended family.

At the end of the shift, I will make sure that taxis are organised to arrive in time to take members back home for them to continue the celebrations with their own families. I will also ensure they all receive a big thank you for their support before passing on communication to the next shift ensuring the teams are prepared for the tasks ahead.

Does your team have a chance to take some time to celebrate?

Our team will get the chance to celebrate as part of the ward or department team they support. They have always been included and many have received Christmas gifts from the wards for their continual support throughout the year.

In addition to this team members will divide themselves into small groups to ensure that their breaks are spent together, whether this be at breakfast or for their lunch break. It’s good to hear the flow of the conversations going on between team members as to the plans for the day, their surprise at what they may have received from the early morning activities or what they are expecting afterwards.

Will you get time with your family and friends?

My start to the festivities will begin on Christmas Eve. l am the proud grandma to twin girls, Olivia and Sophia, who are just ten weeks old. We will spend Christmas Eve together and then later on, around teatime on Christmas Day, we will rejoin to spend time together. This year, l am so looking forward to Christmas, with the arrival of the twins, they have brought so much joy to me and my family already.

How would you sum up being a Supervisor on Christmas Day?

My job has responsibility not only for the cleanliness of the site but also for the morale of our team members who are working on Christmas Day. Communication is vital between us all to ensure that the day runs smoothly.

What’s your favourite thing about working over the festive period?

The atmosphere of the site on the day is joyous, Christmas at the Children’s Hospital feels as though there is a buzz in the environment. l adore seeing the expressions upon not only children but adults at this time of year.

A Christmas Day in the Life of a Children's Hospital Sister

Molly wearing blue uniform surrounded by a graphic bored of holly Molly McDonald is a Sister in our General Paediatrics Ward. She's been working at the Trust for over five years and over that time has worked every single Christmas Day. We spoke to her about what it's like to work over Christmas and what she loves so much about the festive period at our Children's Hospital:

How many Christmas Days have you worked?

I've worked every single Christmas Day since I started, so that's five! I really like to work Christmas Day. I've been on this Ward for five years and I feel the same way about it now that I did when I started. I love my job and Christmas especially is such a lovely day to work. I always volunteer to work during the day as I want my colleagues who have children to be able to take the day off to enjoy time with their families.

What does a typical Christmas Day shift look like?

We still do all of our regular clinical duties so that doesn't change but the whole day feels really festive. We've decorated the Ward and we'll have a Christmas dinner, presents and plenty of singing, it's a really nice day. We have Santa come to visit the Ward as well and the children love it. Everyone gets in the festive spirit.

Does your team have a chance to celebrate?

We have already had a team night out and we do Secret Santa with everyone on the Ward. Everyone comes together to make it a special day.

Will you get a chance to celebrate with your friends and family?

We work short shifts on Christmas day so everyone gets a chance to celebrate. I'll work in the afternoon so I'll be able to spend some time with my family on Christmas morning.

What's your favourite thing about working over the festive period?

I love the lead-up to Christmas as there's so much happening around the hospital. We have carol singing, a grotto and we sometimes have celebrity visitors come onto the Ward to cheer the children up. This year we have Aston Villa FC visiting, which we’re all really excited about and will be a lovely surprise for our families. Everyone loves the work we do and just loves making the day extra special; it's a day full of singing and laughter and just a lovely period to work in.

A Christmas Day in the Life of a Midwife

Deb wearing blue uniform surrounded by a graphic bored of holly Deb has been a midwife for 18 years with the last 11 at our Women's Hospital. For the last three years, she has been a shift leader in our delivery suite. We spoke to her about what it's like to work over the festive period as a midwife:

What does a typical Christmas Day look like?

Christmas Days are very varied depending on the workload. The atmosphere in the delivery suite is upbeat and jolly, and during the morning, we are visited by Santa, who has presents for all our birthing people and babies, which always brings a smile to our faces. 

We are very lucky that we work with some amazing cooks so over the festive period we have various foods - this year we are having chicken biryani and turkey baps and stuffing for lunch! 

Will your team get a chance to celebrate?

We try hard as shift leaders to ensure that the team get a chance to eat together, but sadly, that’s not often possible in the delivery suite as the babies don't seem to tell the time! But, we do try and make sure that everyone working gets a proper break and rest if they can during the shift. And a shift of the day photo is essential! 

Will you get a chance to celebrate with your family?

Personally, I will be celebrating Christmas on Boxing say this year, but my family are very used to Christmas being moved around after all these years. 

For me, when I chose to be a midwife and work in the NHS I knew that it would mean working over holiday periods and missing out on events but it was a decision I made gladly to be able to follow my dream.  

What do you love most about working over the festive period?

Working over Christmas is a little different to the rest of the year; there is almost an extra sense of thanks and gratitude for providing care to those who need it at this time and also helping to ensure that those not at work can enjoy time with their family and friends.

A Christmas Day in the Life of a Clinical Support Worker

Jade Wookey is a Clinical Support Worker on Ward 15, our general paediatrics and respiratory Ward. Jade started her role in February of this year and Monday will be her first Christmas day shift. She spoke to us about what the day would be like and what she was looking forward to most…

What does a typical Christmas Day shift look like?

I'm really looking forward to my first Christmas Day shift; I've been in the team for less than a year, but I absolutely love it. I was a hairdresser before and found my calling as a Clinical Support Worker.

At Christmas, we try to get as many families home as we can, even just for a day, so that they can spend Christmas at home, but for our very poorly Children who need to stay in, we try to make the day as special as possible.

Will you get time to spend with your family?

I'm on an early shift, so I will be back to spend the evening with my family and have a Christmas dinner together!

Will you get a chance to celebrate with your team?

We celebrate as a team throughout the day with our families. We decorate the ward and everyone gets in the Christmas spirit to make the day as special as possible.

What are you most looking forward to about working over the Christmas period?

I love my job, I love looking after people and watching them get better and Christmas is no different. We make the day extra special with all the festivities. There will be lots of singing and lots of presents for the children to open thanks to everyone's donations. The lead-up to Christmas is lovely in the hospital; we even have Santa visit us in our grotto.