A (Christmas) Day in the Life of Ricki Gill, Ward 1 Sister | News

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A (Christmas) Day in the Life of Ricki Gill, Ward 1 Sister

Picture of Ricki Gill Ricki, has been part of our Children’s Hospital team for almost two decades now. Like hundreds of others she’ll be working this Christmas Day; caring for children, young people and families whilst at the same time making sure the sprit of the season is in the air. Here she explains what it’s like on the ‘big day’.

How many Christmas Days have you worked?

I have been a registered children’s nurse since January 2002.  I started off my career at Leicester Royal Infirmary but always felt as though something was missing. I moved back to my hometown of Birmingham in October 2002 and commenced my Children’s Hospital journey on Ward 8 up until February 2018.  I then joined my current team on Ward 1.  I have been the Ward Sister on Ward 1, our Renal Unit, since April 2019.  During my time at BCH I have worked nine Christmas Days so 2021 will be my 10th on shift

What does a typical Christmas Day on shift consist of?

All my Christmas shifts that I have worked to date have varied.  We have had some extremely poorly children admitted on Christmas Day who have gone on to receive life-saving specialised High Dependent Care. I have worked shifts where we’ve had long-term patients who have been too sick to go home for Christmas and they have spent it with their ‘Ward Nursing Family.’

The actual physical workload and patient management never really differs from any other day. The standard of care delivered will always be to the highest level possible. You still have the regular medication rounds, monitoring of observations and fluid management requirements, liaising with the medical team and devising a plan of care specific to that child.

There is definitely an element of ‘magic’ in the air on Christmas Day.  Everyone from the ward staff, porters, catering staff, all other medical/surgical professionals will go out of their way to ensure our children and families do not feel as though they are missing out. We try to fill that void of not being at home on Christmas Day as much as we can.

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

My team is just amazing.  Just like the rest of the staff here at BWC we embrace the opportunity we are given and feel extremely privileged and honoured to be part our children’s and families Christmas Day memories.  It’s a lovely feeling being part of that journey with our patients and their family and it’s our duty to try and make it as memorable for them as possible.  

Prior to these unprecedented times we are all facing at present, we would usually bring in snacks and drinks to share with their colleagues as part of their Christmas Dinner. Unfortunately, due to the current situation it’s not possible but we will still make the most of the special day by spending even more quality time with those we care for. We truly appreciate and embrace this wonderful opportunity we have.

Will you get time with your family and friends?

At the end of my shift I still get to go home and spend it with my loved ones all together. There is a feeling of real gratification about going home after working a Christmas Day as it makes you value and appreciate your own situation much more, whilst giving you that heartwarming feeling that you made a difference to someone else’s day.  

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

Being a nurse is one of the most rewarding professions there is.  I feel so blessed, proud, privileged and honoured every day I walk through those front doors of BCH.  You never know what kind of day it’s going to be but with the right team around you can achieve almost anything. Working on Christmas Day is a wonderful feeling and just to be part of that patient journey is truly magical. 

The spirit of Christmas is something, which is demonstrated by all the staff who work at BWC every single day.  We truly embrace the Trust values and this is reflected through their dedication, commitment, generosity and compassion all year round.