Christina’s Christmas at the Hospice
Part of working in healthcare, whether that’s as a doctor, nurse or other professional, is working when others might not be. Christmas is no different. Like hospitals, we have a team of people here at Birmingham St Mary’s to care for people all over the holiday period.
This year, I’ve got the luxury of Christmas Day off, but I’m on call for the two bank holidays after the Christmas weekend. I actually don’t mind working at Christmas. There’s a real atmosphere of positivity at the Hospice, and we try hard to make it great for everyone who is here, whether they’re patients, relatives, staff or volunteers.
There are decorations, trees, presents and food galore. Some artistic staff even turned their hand to arts and crafts last year to make a reindeer out of urine bottles and a commode tray for a patient who told me it was the best Christmas decoration he’d seen!
Some particular memories stand out over my years working in hospices at Christmas. One year, the whole team pulled together to get a man home from the Inpatient Unit to spend Christmas with his family. He was quite poorly, so he wanted to come back to the hospice in the afternoon, but it was hugely important to him to wake up in his own bed on Christmas morning, and open presents with his children. And we facilitated that. It involved the whole team rallying together to make it work, and the help of the ambulance service, district nurses and GP to make sure he could stay at home overnight. My abiding memories are of two very happy children having Dad at home for Christmas Day.
We often have little parties on the Inpatient Unit on Christmas Day, and sometimes patients will ask to stay in over Christmas to be looked after by our wonderful nursing team. Even when people are not in the Hospice by choice, we work hard to make them and their family feel that it’s a second home, and show them how much we care.
Thank you Dr. Christina for sharing your Hospice Christmas stories with us.
You can support local families this Christmas by making a small donation to Birmingham St Mary’s – make a difference this festive period.