A (Christmas) Day in the life of a Children’s Hospital nurse | News

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A (Christmas) Day in the life of a Children’s Hospital nurse

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 more than 180 children, young people and their families will be with us, cared for by our teams, which includes around of 150 of our fab nurses. 

Fiona Etheridge, our Principal Site Co-Coordinator has worked at our Children’s Hospital for 27 years and has been on shift on many a Christmas Day past, will be one of them. We asked her what it’s like working on the ‘big day’.

How many Christmas Days have you worked?

I’ve been a nurse for 36 years now (16 years in my current role) so, working it out, I’ve done shifts on 28 Christmas Days (to date).

What does a typical Christmas Day on shift consist of?

The work itself will be the same as any other day. For me, it will include some time with our doctors during handover, I will visit all our wards, including our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department, grab some lunch and then revisit – spending time on areas that need support.

It certainly feels different though and all of our staff do everything they can to make sure patients and families enjoy the day. We know that no-one probably wants to be here on Christmas Day and we do everything we can to make sure children can either go home for the day or at least spend a few hours with their family in their house/away from the ward.

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

My team is quite small but we will bring in some bits of food and take a little time to eat together if we get chance.

Will you get time with your family and friends?

My shift will finish at 8pm and then I will travel over to my sister’s house to join the family. We won’t be delaying dinner until that late but I’ve got Boxing Day off and that’s when I will go out and enjoy another Christmas Day.

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

I love being a nurse. It’s the greatest profession in the world and I feel privileged to be able to care for and support patients and families. You feel that especially over Christmas and it’s special to share the day with them.

I knew when I joined the profession that nursing is a 24-hour, seven days a week job, so I’ve never minded working at Christmas at all. It’s actually one of the highlights of my year.

Merry Christmas to Fiona and every single member of our BWC team working over the festive period. Thank-you