Continuing our staff Christmas series, we hear from Laura, who is working over the festive period.
"I’ve been a nurse for four years now - one year in trauma and three years in ICU. This year will be the third Christmas I’ve worked - I volunteer one year in the knowledge that the following year I’ll be able to plan a really good Christmas with my family.
"This year I volunteered to work Christmas Day because with my parents being in a high risk age group and my brother living in Australia, spending the day with my work family felt like the next best option! My first Christmas working was in a trauma ward and it was a lot of fun because all the patients and relatives got into the Christmas spirit and one even dressed up as Santa! We gave them all presents on behalf of the hospital and shared food. Christmas in Intensive Care was very different.
"The nature of ICU means you never know what’s going to happen and it might not be the cheery Christmas that you’re hoping for, but we usually still manage to get festive. We plan what food we’re each going to bring in and try to have longer breaks so that we can have some kind of Christmas meal together. We still give out presents to the patients who can enjoy them, and we get nice toiletries to wash our sedated patients with so they still get a bit of pampering!
"If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life isn’t about material goods or money, but it’s about being there for each other and supporting each other through tough times. Although we can’t always be with the people we love, we always find ways of supporting them and showing our love.
"This year I won’t be with my family at Christmas, but I’ll be with a team of people that have supported me through some of my toughest moments this year. And hopefully, we can bring some kind of normality and happiness to our patients and their relatives on Christmas Day."