Last year I had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, both 12 hours shifts that turned into about 15 each.
This year I got a better deal and just had to do Christma Eve. It was supposed to be a ten hour shift but in true PICU Christmas fashion, it turned into a 14 hour.
I don't know what it is about the holiday times, but the week or two leading up to it seems so chill. And I think, "Oh nice, for one year the PICU will be quiet on Christmas!" And then the holiday hits and it almost knocks you out.
Yesterday was one of the top 3 worst days of my APN career (only in competition with last Christmas Eve in which we had 16 patients with no other APN or fellow to help me out, and a day last November that 3 of my patients died in 12 hours!).
It's rough having bad days at work. It's hard not being able to eat, drink or pee for such a long time. And yet I always have to be reminded of what it is that I'm doing.
I'm working in a PICU that is filled with sick kids, and families that are hurting. At a time when they would love more than nothing else to be home with their little ones opening presents, drinking hot chocolate, and watching Christmas movies, they are instead in a hospital. In a PICU nonetheless.
And so it makes my horrible day so much less horrible. It's all about persceptive. And it's important to keep that in mind.
So with that, I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas!! And a special thought goes out to my co-workers who are taking care of our precious little ones today in the PICU. You are truly a light in this world!