Christmas in the healthcare sector
Christmas time can be a lonely one for many people, particularly those who are living within the healthcare system. Many people, young and old, spend their Christmas in hospitals, care homes, children’s homes and more and so their experience of Christmas may be slightly different to that of others.
Many employees of the healthcare sector also spend their Christmas at work in these healthcare facilities, spending more time with patients than with their own families. It is at this time of year that it is important to reflect on and give gratitude to those who give up their time with loved ones to care for ours when we cannot.
How Christmas might affect healthcare
For many, Christmas is a time of fun and parties. This inevitably leads to large spikes in demand in many industries including entertainment and hospitality. Have you thought about how the Christmas season might affect healthcare?
With the excitement that Christmas brings, it is easy for people to overdo it with the partying that they pay far less attention to their health and their safety. This can increase the number of people requiring treatment from a healthcare professional. Whether it’s illnesses that occur during the winter months or accidents associated with the festive period, there are many ways the Christmas holidays affect the healthcare sector.
Emergency departments and GP surgeries always have a high tendency of being packed out with patients during the festive season due to higher incidences of accidents, including those in the home and on the roads, where alcohol sometimes has a role to play.
Healthcare professionals, including nurses and doctors, often have to deal with many patients during these periods as many more people tend to require help due to issues like alcohol abuse, increased stress, family conflicts, heightened loneliness, increasing mental health difficulties, domestic violence, and more.
As part of their work ethic, many healthcare providers are laden with the task of being responsible for not only themselves and their families, but also their patients. In worst-case scenarios, the pressures on some healthcare workers may even cause them to fall sick and require time off work, increasing the pressure on the remaining healthy healthcare workers. This is just a snippet of what healthcare providers have to deal with during the Christmas period.
The increased demand for healthcare services during the festive period does mean that many people may be unable to get appointments. Illnesses, such as seasonal flu can also exacerbate the problem, by infecting both patients and healthcare staff.
With pressures on healthcare severe, particularly during the Christmas period, it is important that healthcare professionals adopt certain measures and outlooks to try and ensure they stay in tip-top condition and are ready and able to deal with the expected influx of patients.
- Ensuring meals are healthy and contain all the essential vitamins and minerals
- Getting adequate sleep (and not overdoing the partying)
- Taking a break from work when the body calls for rest
- Preparing in advance as much as possible for the expected high numbers of patients to prevent being overwhelmed
- Bearing in mind that Christmas can be a time of stress for patients as well as healthcare professionals
Christmas comes with its dose of downsides as it can become a challenging time for many people. Increased stress, mental problems, accidents, seasonal illnesses, and more can put additional strain on healthcare providers and make it much more difficult for people to get the healthcare attention they need when they need it. Only by being prepared as best as possible can those in healthcare provision be ready to tackle the inevitable influx of patients that the Christmas season brings.