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Please thank your nurse this Christmas
December 21st, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Please thank your nurse this Christmas

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

You can guarantee that three places will be open on Christmas day: Chinese restaurants, Denny’s and hospitals.

I spent part of last Christmas in the hospital visiting my mother-in-law who was recovering from open heart surgery.  I felt depressed walking into the building that morning.  My mother-in-law treasures the holidays more than anyone else in my family.  Lying in a hospital bed was the absolute last way she wanted to spend Christmas.

But during the time I spent at her bedside, my depression lifted, replaced by an overwhelming sense of gratitude for her doctors, nurses, and medical technicians.  I never felt for one second that her care suffered because her medical team was working on Christmas.  The nurses and support staff were cheerful, accommodating and responsive. One male nurse even wore a Santa’s cap and greeted my mother-in-law with “Merry Christmas” and “Ho-ho-ho” before he took her blood pressure.

Most physicians who work on Christmas - with some exceptions like ER docs - round on patients in the morning so they can get back home in time for Christmas dinner.  Not so for nurses and other hospital employees.  They put in full or extended shifts on Christmas to make sure that all the patients are cared for.  Thankfully, hospitals never close; medical care never takes days off.

Each Christmas, nurses and hospital support staff juggle their work schedules and sacrifice their time, giving up their own Christmases to accommodate the needs of patients.  As I sat by my mother-in-law’s bedside and looked forward to my own Christmas dinner, I thought about the dedicated caregivers who would spend their day changing catheters and cleaning wounds while the rest of us enjoyed being with our families in the warmth of our homes.

Some nurses go way beyond the call of duty.  A few years ago I went to the hospital on Christmas morning to see a patient who had undergone reconstructive surgery.  Her nurse, Sara, smiled as she worked.  Even so, I thought she looked a little tired.  I asked her how she was doing.  She told me she was working her second twelve-hour shift in two days.  She was covering for a nurse who had called in sick.  You would never know it. Sara was professional, caring and attentive to my patient, as well as to the five other patients assigned to her.  I was in awe of Sara.

Operating on almost no sleep, she was spending Christmas working in the hospital, instead of with her small children, and she was going about her job cheerfully without complaint and with consummate professionalism.

We owe a great debt to the people who serve us and our country - our military, our teachers, police officers, fire fighters, mail carriers and others in civil service.  I know that many people give generously to all those who keep us safe, educated and connected.  But if you happen to have a little extra time or can spare a few extra dollars, consider showing your appreciation to the nurses in your local hospital who are spending their Christmas caring for patients.

And here’s a suggestion.  Since hospital food can be  iffy and on Christmas day really iffy, how about sending some Chinese take-out to the nurses’ station at your local hospital?

Because I know from experience that Denny’s doesn’t deliver.


soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Kevin Madsen

    Please refrain from using the term "male nurse". It is akin to "female doctor".

    December 21, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sam

      Kevin – The good doctor writes a nice article and you write this stupid reply. You're an idiot.

      December 21, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
    • madisoncnn

      The reference was to clarify the gender of the nurse who dressed up as Santa.

      December 21, 2011 at 16:56 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Kevin's point was that it shouldn't REQUIRE clarification. If a nurse dressed up as Santa, then a nurse dressed up as Santa.

      I was in the Army for seven years, and nothing burned me more than hearing people referring to "female Soldiers" specifically, but nobody ever said "male soldiers" to point them out as being "atypical."

      Anyway, regardless of that insensitivity, it was a good article. And a good point about people who can't take the day off.

      December 21, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • iminim

      Thanks to Anthony Youn for his article. Thanks to the nurses, lab & radiology technicians, aides, ward secretaries, environmental services staff, food services staff, phone operators, and all the other "behind the scenes" hospital staff who continue to serve patients with concern & care through holidays (and inclement weather situations). You are unsung heroes.

      And thank you, KevinMadsen, for your comment.

      From a (happens to be female) doctor

      December 21, 2011 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      I actually embrace the term Murse. We are the generation that is breaking down stereotypes and should take pride in it. We are demonstrating time and again that men can be caregivers, that fathers can nurture. When I worked in the PICU it was a constant comment that I looked more like a cop or construction worker than a pediatric nurse. I laughed off the assumptions that because I was a nurse I must be gay. Many are the times I've stood at a bedside and smile good naturedly while assume I was the doctor and the female MD is the nurse. Laugh and get over it, and when the pharmacy or lab tech erronously assumes you are an MD based on the depth of your voice and bumps your pt's needs to the top of the list, take advantage of it!

      December 21, 2011 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Thanks for the clarification, Gaylord Focker

      December 22, 2011 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Come on, lighten up. This is simply a touching article from a male doctor about his female mother in law.

      December 22, 2011 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
    • Boone

      Personally, I prefer the term "man nurse".

      December 22, 2011 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
  2. Leo

    Good point, doc... but if you please, don't imagine that nurses are the only ones there. They're not the only ones in the hospital, folks. Doctors (and everyone else) love to forget about the REST of the support staff.

    If you end up in the ER on Christmas day, Thanksgiving, or any other major holiday, and they send some of your blood up to the lab, STAT... who do you think is running the test? Oh, that would be my wife, and the rest of the medical technologists up there.

    You see, nothing happens until the lab runs the tests. Emergency surgery? Needs blood tests. Complication with medication? Oh yeah, blood tests. Urinalysis, too. Spinal fluid analysis. Bone marrow analysis on that new acute leukemia patient. And let's not forget the blood bank, because the med techs run that, too.

    Then we've got the radiology techs. Come into the ER with what seems like either acute appendicitis (or maybe that turkey wasn't fully cooked)? Who's gonna run your scan? Break a bone? Same thing. Car accident because someone drank too much eggnog? Load 'em into the CT scanner! The rad tech is running your scan, not a doctor or nurse.

    Does a patient need medication, beyond the most basic treatments? CALL the PHARMACY! You need a pharmacist and pharm techs in order to dispense medication within the hospital. They're working on Christmas, too. Who's down in the hospital's pharmacy, sending vital medications up to the patient wards and surgery rooms? Yeah, I thought so.

    And then, who's cooking the food in the hospital kitchen? Who's cleaning the toilets and replacing the paper towel rolls? Who's making sure the electricity and hot water and backup generators are reliable?

    Yeah, people... there's a whole team keeping a hospital running. I know... I work at one. Don't thank me – I've got the holidays off this season. But just remember, it's more than just doctors and nurses who keep that hospital running. There's a whole dang team here... ready to keep you alive on Christmas, and just hoping you don't need them.

    December 21, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Faith

      Leo, Yes there are many wonderful people working in the medical field on Christmas day and their expertise is appreciated. Every now and then it is nice to have accolades given to a certain profession. Sometimes we recognize teachers specifically, others times we praise the military, etc. This article gave special recognition to Registered Nurses. Have you ever heard of or know the meaning of the word gracious?

      December 21, 2011 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      I completely agree. As a Medical Laboratory Scientist I have made the choice to be an unseen member of the healthcare team along with other medical professionals. I never get a thank you and my work often goes unnoticed, but I do it because I enjoy the work. It would be nice to see a little respect and acknowledgement for the other members of the healthcare team that keeps hospitals running day and night because it is not only nurses.

      December 21, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      Well said leo...People do forget we work as a team! From a RN in Pa, Merry Christmas!!!

      December 22, 2011 at 06:45 | Report abuse |
    • pathologist

      Well said Leo. Technologists are under-thanked.

      How about sending some Chinese to your hospital's Lab this Christmas.

      December 22, 2011 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      Faith – The article was talking about how the hospitals are opened, and then acted as if nurses are the only ones working their tails off to help the sick and the dying over the holidays. Nurses get TONS of attention. There's an official "Nurse Recognition Week." There are programs left and right for nurses. Nurses get all the face-forward attention. NOBODY ever remembers all the technologists (who often have as much or MORE education than the nurses) because nobody sees them. So I'm trying to get people to remember those who actually ARE forgotten by everyone. Nurses are not forgotten.

      Jamie – ROCK ON!

      Sandy – Absolutely right, we're a team. Cheers and happy holidays!

      Pathologist – Thank you. You would be one of the people who would know. Yesterday, the pathologists who work with my wife's lab brought them a fancy cheese and olive platter as a holiday thank-you. Thank you for being one of the folks who recognizes all the techs behind the scenes. *cheers*

      December 22, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • ER worker

      Leo- 'read between the lines'....please stay up in the lab, you are not cleaning wounds or dealing with family like those of us in the trenches!! Anyway, how hard is it to run a CBC??? (PA in ER)

      December 22, 2011 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
    • chi RN

      Leo, yes, there are blood draws that need to be run in the lab sometimes. Remind me, who draws the blood? Oh yeah, the nurse. In between running between patient rooms to give pain medications that are never enough, or to put someone on a bedpan, or to try and reorient a confused/demented patient... EVERY one works hard, Leo.

      December 23, 2011 at 22:27 | Report abuse |
    • Mandi

      Hi Leo-
      I think if you reread the article again, you'll notice that the author mentions several times that there are nurses AND other staff who are here 24/7.
      I think it's worth noting, however, that some hospitals do not have these staff here at all times. I can't tell you how many times patients havent been able to have testing and procedures done because it's after 5, it's a weekend, or it's a holiday. When we try to call them in from home to do the test, they actually question the "need" for the order.
      While there are much more than just nurses at the hospital all day, nurses and aids are the ones who are at the bedside 24/7, holding hands of dying patients, comforting families, answering questions, and providing all the basic care- as i'm sure you realize from working in a hospital.
      Everyone who works the holiday deserves a huge thank you, and I'll never disagree with that.

      December 24, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
  3. Hilarity Ensues

    ^^

    I don't think this article is making the impact it was intended to..

    December 21, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Kathy

    I have been a nurse for many years and to hear a doctor say without question "Thank a nurse" is very warming and I am grateful...I work ER and yes it does take other staff members to make it all happen, but why would you want to jump on the nursing staff for being recognized? We don't get the accolades, we just work harder and harder with less staff to do so. My place of work does not pay time and a half for any holiday, so believe me we are not getting paid extra.

    The next time you feel as though you can't allow a nurse to be recognized, let's hope you appreciate all the care they give when you and yours, need it the most.

    Thank you Dr. Youn for the recognition..it is appreciated.

    December 21, 2011 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Faith

      You go Kathy. I could not have said it better!

      December 21, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      While I appreciate the nurses you have to agree that you get recognized more on a regular basis. I am an RRT we are supose to have an RT week but seldom does a hospital do that. But nurses do get a week with all kinds of goodies. All we are asking is recognition too. Most people don't even know who a respiratory therapist is untill they can't breath.

      December 21, 2011 at 20:39 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Thank you Kathy!

      I will say that there are many more nurses than techs working at my hospital for Christmas. Should I ask our lab techs to help clean up a patient with c-diff that stooled in his bed? We are a team so I'm sure they would be happy to help.

      I'm sure people are gonna be upset about my reply. I'm certain I don't care. If you want the accolades then become a nurse.

      December 23, 2011 at 03:35 | Report abuse |
    • Xepa

      Depending on how much you want to spend there are some good options. Remember that ppeloe are more than their occupations, meaning that nurses and doctors are probably tired of receiving stuffed bears, figurines, mugs or anything else with medical insignia on it (the same way teachers hate getting coffee mugs filled with candy and porcelain apples). The food idea is great. If you want to go a step beyond a platter, see if a nearby restaurant can provide a few buffet dishes that can be left in the floor's break room. The items should be easy to eat on the run, but it might be nice to deviate from the normal sandwiches.Ask one of the nurses if it would be appropriate for you to hire a masseuse for 2-3 hours to be in the break room giving out 10-minute massages to ppeloe on their break. Ask one of the nurses where/ if they hangout after work. Maybe you can sponsor a happy hour for them to unwind at a local bar. If you want to give individual gifts maybe a pair of movie ticket vouchers per person would be appropriate, or for a bigger gift couple it with a gift certificate to a restaurant. Or- get gift certificate to blockbuster and write a personal note encouraging them to relax and have a blockbuster night .

      October 11, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
  5. Tim

    I am a registered Respiratory Therapist and I have worked eleven of the last twelve nights. I am tired but I give my all to my patients. Please do not forget the support staff that help care for these patients. Why not make sure they also get a nice meal at christmass or send goodies to them. We love goodies especialy the night crew that very seldom get noticed but who watch and care for your loved ones while you sleep. Even a thank you and a smile is nice and a pick up when your bone tired.

    December 21, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. M

    Except they send lots of patients home before major holidays so they don't need as much staff.

    And the ones who do work are often Jewish so they aren't giving up anything.

    And no I don't want a sleepy nurse or technician near me or my loved ones.

    The true heroes are the neonatal nurses. They are truly touched by G-d.

    December 21, 2011 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ER RN

      Excuse me, but ALL nurses are heros...I am an ER nurse, and without grinding my own axe here, I will say that I have witnessed MANY times nurses in my ER catching a life threatening problem that the doctor either missed or was not aware of...we are the EYES AND EARS of our doctors. A doctor cannot be at a bedside as often as a nurse can, and we are the ones who will see a patient all of a sudden take a turn for the worst, and take emergency measures to save that patients life until the doctor arrives in the room!
      Also, we don't just give medical care to our patients....we feed those who are homeless, sometimes giving up our OWN lunch that we brought. We give compassion and special attention to the elderly who either have no family or family who does not care (the latter which is a growing problem). We give loving attention to the children whose parents bring them in dirty, malnourished, and ignored. Children who come in with fevers of 103, who, when we ask if they were given anything at home for the fever, are told, "No, I don't keep that stuff at the house". We feed these children, bathe them, and send the parents home with bottles of Motrin and Tylenol because if we don't, the child will not be given anything for fever/comfort during their illness. I have had parents tell me, "I'm not stopping to get Tylenol for him/her because I used the last five dollars that I had for cigarettes". Last but not least, those who come to our ER because they are lonesome (the elderly), who come in 3-4 times a week during the holidays, we give them food, little gifts, and TIME.
      Each department has their own specialties in care and their own special patients. It's not limited to just "Neo ICU" or ER. ALL NURSES ARE HEROS.

      December 21, 2011 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
    • arctic rose

      @ M: this is not true at all! one's faith is not a consideration in making the schedule unless one asks off as a religious reason to be off, in which case the schedule may be adjusted or vacation days used. And the quality of care is no less on a holiday than any other day due to our level of standardized expertise and ethics and I resent your implication otherwise.

      December 22, 2011 at 05:43 | Report abuse |
    • JR

      What?

      No, they 'dont' send patients home' during any holiday. They may have limited elective surgery hours or close some outpaitent clinics, but acute care facilities are open and operate 24/7, regardless of the date on the calendar. If a person is well enough to go home for the holidays, they're well enough not to be a hospital in the first place, and would be going home anyway.

      They also don't short staff during that time, either. Matter of fact, they often staff UP in certain departments because of the behavior of the general public where they have a tendency to do a lot of less than healthy things to 'celebrate'.

      And the whole religious thing is curious. Working on holidays is related to contract. All of the nursing statf were requiired to work several major holidays per year, and Christmas was something that you had to work, every other year, regardless of seniority. If you wanted to work on that day as a matter of preference, others were happy to have that extra day off, but it didn't happen often. Anectdotely, I offerred to work quite a number of Christmases in a row iwhen I was single, so that married staff with kids could spend time with their families.

      But then I also worked my first child's first Christmas. I can still see my husband standing in the window with my baby, as I drove to work before dawn that day. You act like it's not a big deal because we must have chosen it. Sometimes that's true, and sometimes it's the last thing that you would do personally.

      You don't have to clap that people work on that day, but you really don't know what you're talking about.

      December 22, 2011 at 06:03 | Report abuse |
    • Joanie

      I find that offensive that you think it is a religion based thing that only non Christians are schedule! I am a Christian and have been a nurse for 22 years and work labor & delivery, alongside the NICU nurses. I can guarantee you this is not done on our unit. do you know how many Christmases I have had off in 22 years? Exactly 3! Do I complain, no! I love being there to take care of my moms and dads bring this new miracle of life into this world. I t takes me away from my church, husband, children and family, but it is my job to be there. I don't know what facility you work or know of, but that is not the norm for any holiday. Maybe they volunteer because they want to, but it is not mandatory that a Jewish, or Muslim or Atheist work on Christmas! I do recognize all the other ancillary staff that has to be there too and am greatful they are, because without them, my job would not run smoothly. The whole point of the article was sweet and not directed just at a nurse. Those nurses just happen to be the ones he saw the most. If you notice in the article it did recognize other disciplines as well.

      December 22, 2011 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      The holidays are split up depending on what you worked the previous year. Most go on 2 or 3 year cycles for most "bank" holidays. (Christian holidays, Memorial day, Labor day, MLK, Presidents, etc) It is probably easier for a non Christian to get a day of for a religious day, than for a Christian for their holy days. I, as a nurse (ICU), and my father as a surgeon have worked many, many holidays. I was on a 2 year cycle for quite a bit. That means, Christmas every-other year. When I worked, the lab was churning out results, the linens were cleaned, the floors were mopped, the patients got their therapy, and the phones were answered. We had security, transport, EMS, techs, OR staff, supply staff, and admissions. That is a long list of people working on the holidays. They all need a smile and thanks!

      December 22, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
  7. jas

    Wow........nothing like someone trying to say some kind words to bring out the trolls.........

    December 21, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. dv

    thank you for the article. I am working 8 out of 9 days straight, with five shifts being 12 hrs each. We try and cheer up patients and each other as best we can. Not that it is depressing, but management does not let us dress up anymore (one of the nurses used to dress as Santa, but I always got stuck as an elf because I am under 5ft). We used to have visitors like team mascots or beauty queens come by, but management stopped that also. We still sneak patients cookies, though!

    December 21, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. justlook502

    thankyou,vita f

    December 21, 2011 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Oncologist in Cali

    Or you could thank your doctor who isn't getting paid for the shift (And if they are a resident or fellow their hourly wage ends up at 8$/hour) as well as your nurse (who will be pain increased holiday pay) 😉

    December 21, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MW

      Yes, please thank your nurse, and also thank the resident who is working a 30+ hour shift in the hospital without ANY sleep to take care of you and getting paid a lot less per hour than the nurse!

      December 22, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • Boone

      There's really no validity to the complaints of residents and interns about how they make so much less than nurses. Physicians have chosen their careers and nurses have chosen theirs. Yes, a resident does make much less per hour than a nurse because they cover an entire day and night (although competent and progressive hospital systems recognize the extreme danger of this practice for the patients and are stopping it–some states are even making it illegal), but over the course of a physician's career, he/she will, by far, overtake the salary of a nurse. Bedside nurses will also be required to work Christmas and other major holidays for their entire careers of 40 or so years. Most physicians, once established in practice, are done with holidays and weekends.

      December 22, 2011 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • K

      @Boone – ACGME actually makes 24 hour shifts illegal for residents. The longest shift that a resident can work is 16 hours. That being said, on the holidays, most residents cover multiple services for an entire shift, ensuring that there will be no down time for them to relax, call family, or enjoy a meal. I am an RN, and I am thankful every day for a group of wonderful residents at my hospital. Without them, I couldn't be half the nurse that I am. Merry Christmas to ALL of our medical professionals. Thank you for doing what you do, alongside nurses like me. We appreciate you.

      December 23, 2011 at 03:00 | Report abuse |
    • Oncology RN in PA

      I wish our drs were like you! I'm sitting here on Christmas Eve, at work, and I cant tell you how many drs have given me grief for calling them with legitimate patient issues during their holiday dinner. I also can tell you that on the holidays, our drs are in and out so fast that we usually don't even see them on the floor!

      December 24, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  11. Karen

    I was in the hospital over one Christmas. The nurses and the rest of the staff were wonderful.

    December 22, 2011 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. WE CAN ALL LEND A HELPING HAND

    I BELIEVE IN HUMAN COMPASION TOWARDS PEOPLE WHO GO THROUGH A GREAT DEAL IN ORDER THAT ANOTHER HUMAN BEINGS LIFE IS LOOKED OVER BECAUSE OF THEIR HEALTH CONDITIONS. HOSPITAL STAFF ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE UNDERSTAFFED AND ITS A WONDER WHY PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT SLOW SERVICE. MERRY XMAS & HAPPY NEW YEARS TO PUBLIC SAFETY PERSONELLE PARAMEDICS POLICE FIREFIGHTERS NURSES ER DRS. TECHNICIANS PHARMACIES AND LAST BV NOT LEAST THE CHINESE RESTRAUNTS THAT ARE OPEN ALL NIGHT!

    December 22, 2011 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Chiltepin

    Thank you author MD for your recognition of RNs and unlicensed assistive personnel (I noticed that you mentioned some). It was nice to take that to heart. God bless you!

    December 22, 2011 at 02:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Olga

      Food is always aripecpated, especially if it's the kind someone can pick up on the go. Sweets are good, but I've found that nurses are often strapped for time and appreciate something savory like sandwiches or bagels or something that won't quickly spoil.Something else that will be greatly aripecpated is a handwritten card. It doesn't have to be grand poetry just a simple note thanking them for caring for your daughter.

      October 11, 2012 at 22:04 | Report abuse |
  14. ICUnurse

    Thanks, Doc. Come by my unit and we'll hook you up with some brownies...
    --From someone who's going to be working 12 hour nightshifts from 12/23 to 12/26 so that my some of my coworkers with kids can be home with their newborns....

    December 22, 2011 at 05:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. arctic rose

    As a clinical therapist on the behavioral unit of a hospital, I want to make each day as special as it can be for the patients. Holidays are often difficult for people, especially if they are in the hospital, so we have to find a balance between celebration and nurturing. Most of the patients are very appreciative of our being there. Thank you to all the people with the positive comments for hospital staff working on holidays tp help others.

    December 22, 2011 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. sheryl gilman

    And don't forget the RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS who run the life support equipment and are the first ones called by the nurse to evaluate a patient in respiratory distress! Few people know who we are and that we are not "nurses". We specialize in the lungs, heart, and kidneys and perform cpr in EVERY code. Our job is 24-7 in every hospital in the United States and it is now developing in other countries as well.

    December 22, 2011 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mary RRRR

    The holiday worker is the unnoticed hero. They are everywhere in the hospital, at the firehouse, on the police force (don't forget the dispatcher) and what about the gas stations – do you think those folks really want to be behind the counter if they had another option? I am an ER doc. I know about the hard working the unit secretaries, the techs, the nurses, the registration folks, the lab techs, the RTs, the radiology techs, the cafeteria staff....the list is endless of people in a hospital cheerfully manning their posts for one purpose, the patient. When I am off on a holiday I thank the folks I run into that are working. Yep it's part of the job, but still a part that deserves some recognition. THANKS!!!!

    December 22, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Righton

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for including rad techs in your list. We are always so over looked by everyone in the hospital.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
  18. That Dude

    The dude that keeps the Gas Station open on Christmas... what about him? That pretty damn important.

    Every time a nurse sees something bad, they just call in the backup. The poor guy making 5$ an hour on Christmas doesn't have that option.

    December 22, 2011 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Kevin

    And don't forget the nursing teams that work in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living communities!

    December 22, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. nonenone

    Really?

    December 22, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Annah

      I was not the only customer who felt the proudce was over-watered. HE told ME that customers tell him vitamins and minerals are washed away with water.That's what I've said to your employees for years. Some literally water it like a yard in summer, talking to customers and not paying attention.He told me to say something. I said I've talked to employees, emailed, left notes til I realized NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.Water should never be dripping off greens. I've set them in my cart and they are still wet when I check out, nearly an hour later.I wonder if the proudce personnel actually ever eat a salad or use fresh veggies in any capacity?I told him I buy most of my proudce at the farmer's markets where the proudce is out in the fresh air for HOURS and NEVER SPRAYED with WATER.Farmer's market proudce lasts for many days longer than the Co-Op's. I am single, money always tight, and I see no reason why the Co-Op, like other stores, insist on drenching greens!Have you looked at green onions, spinach, beet greens? I won't buy green onions at the Co-Op cos they should last a week, but usually many of the green part are already wilting.I had to put ALL my greens in various colanders for over an hour at home. I had to wipe my beets with paper towels and set out to dry too. I can't get as much organic proudce at my local farmer's market. So once a week I venture to the Co-Op. I make juices and rather use organic. I just don't know what to do. I want to support the Co-Op, but what about helping those of us who really want fresh organic veggies to last longer, but can't because your employees insist on over-watering.So sad, but think how many other customers buy at the outdoor farmer's markets instead of the Co-Op? You are losing money.Do you care? I do . . .

      October 14, 2012 at 01:22 | Report abuse |
  21. Roger

    Let's not forget about veterinarians, veterinary technicians and support staff who must also work all holidays in emergency veterinary hospitals! Just like people, animals do not take a holiday from getting sick or injured. Here's to all who have to sacrifice time with family and loved ones this holiday season!

    December 22, 2011 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Righton

    Don't forget to thank EVERYONE who is working during the holidays. X-ray has to be staffed as well. We never get any credit in the medical world, but if it wasn't for medical imaging doctors would never be able to "see" what is wrong with you. Thanks for perpetuating that, doc.

    December 22, 2011 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mary

    I used to work for Directory Assistance on the holidays - funny how many people would call for their Mother's phone number.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Tom

    There are more than just nurses taking care of patients, a lot with more education, but they are always overlooked.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Karen S Johnson

    I know first hand the thankless job the nurses do for us all. They do so much behind the scene and they do it without so much as a thank-you. The doctors do make mistakes and the nurse fix probelms wiothout making a scene. I praise them for all that they do. Thank-you is not enough but that is all they want. Thank-you and have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year!!!!

    December 22, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. jim

    Personally, I would like to see fewer people writing here asking to have their @s$es kissed for doing their jobs.

    December 22, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      If that's how you perceive these posts, then please leave this site and go somewhere else.

      December 22, 2011 at 21:43 | Report abuse |
  27. Mary Ellen Jacobs RN

    Thank you Dr. Youn for your lovely article acknowledging nursing and all the supporting staff who work hard both during the holiday's in all healthcare settings, and every day of the year to provide quality helthcare!!

    December 22, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Chef

    Are medical professionals allowed to take cash from patients? I am eternally grateful for the nurses who have been in and out of my families life during stressful times of hospitalization. I have baked goodies and provided candy and such during those times but to hand out cash seems inappropriate not to mention isn't it against a hospitals policy?

    December 22, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • K

      No, nurses are not able to accept cash from patients. I believe that the author's point was to provide some goodies for the nurses with that extra cash - such as the Chinese take-out he mentioned.

      December 23, 2011 at 03:04 | Report abuse |
  29. Erika

    From everyone at our Elementary School in Central Wisconsin we thank our wonderful nurse! Thank you Nurse Tori! Thanks for making tummies better and ouchies not so ouchie! We LOVE you!

    December 22, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. MarkB

    This is a great article, my wife works as a nurse in the NICU this christmas. It was a fanatasitc suggestion to send them take out food, I'm sure when I do, all the nurses will love it. She really is an amazing and caring person, just as I imagine all nurses are

    December 22, 2011 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. MaryJesusJoseph

    Thanks for the recognition. And yes ALL support staff are undervalued. RTs, techs, environmental services, nurses, etc... we all feel your pain:) We are all on the same team here guys, no need to argue.

    December 22, 2011 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. MaryJesusJoseph

    And to the above, it's typically against policy to accept gifts from patients, but we love personal thank you cards from patients. Makes us feel good and lets management know we are doing a good job.

    December 22, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. scarf

    Years ago, I was on-call on my son's second Christmas, the first one he knew was something special. I got called into the hospital to do an autopsy on an infant that morning. I had just finished when a second infant autopsy came in. I did that one and was almost ready to go home when a third infant died at home and was brought in for autopsy. By the time I got home, my son had gone to bed and I had missed spending Christmas with him. The only thing that kept me from feeling sorry for myself was the knowledge that, bad as my Christmas had been, it had been a lot better than at least 3 families I could think of. So, instead of focusing on the hospital personnel (doctors, nurses, med techs, RTs, dietary, janitorial, etc.) who are working on Christmas (all of whom get to go home at the end of their shifts), think about the patients who are in the hospital, also unable to spend Christmas with their families they way they would like, who DON'T get to go home at the end of the day.

    December 22, 2011 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ER worker

      finally, some gets it! Thanks, I've had to work with these grieving parents too and it's very humbling. I am more thankful at the end of the day..

      December 22, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
  34. msyellarose

    Well said.

    December 22, 2011 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Maverick2591b

    I've been a paramedic, working many Christmases in a patient's home, a wrecked vehicle, or some other scene. I've done CPR on those who died that day, praying all the while this joyous day would not be remembered as the day they lost a loved one. Now I work as a nurse in a hospital and have worked other Christmases alongside other dedicated staff fortunate enough to be assigned those days and nights...fortunate because we are doing the work God chose for us, just as thousands and thousands of other people do, be it hospitals, patrolling the streets, in restaurants, or any other vocation where we give up being with our families in order to serve. The patients and families can be surly and difficult at times because of the stress of the situation, but it does not dampen our spirits or diminish our desire to be there.

    Thank you for this article...it carries tremendous weight.

    December 22, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      What an inspiration you are! The patients who are under your care are very fortunate indeed.

      December 22, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
  36. RN somewhere

    I'm a now umemployed RN who just lost my job due to being 'blackballed' at my hospital. I was scheduled to work Christmas, and was actually looking forward to it since my family time is on Christmas Eve and holiday shifts tend to be more laid back than usual. No job or holiday pay for me now. Please send your prayers my way, as my family and I need them the most right now. God bless everyone this Christmas, let's not remember the reason for it.

    December 22, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bren

      Nursing agencies or medical travel companies normally have immediate assignments and same day pay, you should check them out! You don't even have to travel, they can place you on an assignment in your city. I wish you the best!

      December 22, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
  37. RN somewhere

    Sorry let me correct my last post–let's not FORGET the reason for Christmas. My brain's still a little foggy from all the stress and crying I've done today 😦

    December 22, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      Keep your faith up! God promises He will take care of you, if you believe! "I will lead you by ways you have not known. Along unfamiliar paths I will guide you. I will turn the darkness into light before you, and make the rough places smooth. These things I will do because I love you and will not forsake you." Isaiah 42:16 I said a prayer for you, RN somewhere, and will continue to do so.

      December 22, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
  38. Bren

    She's happy because she is making double-time pay for working the holiday.

    December 22, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Guest

    Great article! Yes, people, these are the everyday heroes that are really worthy of being in the news–rather than the worthless likes of Lohan, Kardassian, etc. that we have forced in our faces on a daily basis. But we never hear about these people (except in this rare article) because the media does not find them "interesting" enough. What a pity. Wish the media would get their priorities turned around and focus on people who are doing good for society–if so, we may be able to halt the decline of the moral fiber of our country.

    December 22, 2011 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Joan Swann

    Im am now an x-icu nurse...When i became a nurse, I knew that weekends,and holidays were part of my job..I still chose that job.So, for the past 40 years i have been on every other week-end and every Holiday..I just want to thank the Dr.for recognizing that we do put in those hours and those Holidays..But I can't believe that all that KEVIN got out of this story was"male nurse" How small some people are.

    December 22, 2011 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. denim

    Good article.

    December 22, 2011 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Sheila

    Thank you for the recognition. The article is great!

    December 23, 2011 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Shelly

    Thanks so much for the kudos! ALL members of a hospital staff know that patient care can be very thankless at times. I am an ICU nurse and will be working this Christmas. The rest of my family will be on vacation this week, a sacrifice of some precious family time for me. However, I love my job and I love being able to show my patients kindness and compassion (when we all know they would rather be almost anywhere else) on the holidays. Nurses LOVE chinese food!

    December 23, 2011 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RandiRN

    I thought the article was wonderful. I am an RN who has worked on Christmas. Our usual shifts were three 12hr shifts per week. At Christmas the nurse would split the shifts on Christmas eve, and Christmas Day. I am Jewish so Christmas to me is just another day on the calendar as it isn't a celebration in my home. I would volunteer to work the 2nd half of the Christmas eve shift and the 1st half of the Christmas Day shift. My thoughts were to give those who celebrate the holiday to spend Christmas eve and Christmas morning with their families.

    December 23, 2011 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. CNA

    there do seem to be a lot of people on here whining for more recognition for doing their jobs. i'm a (male) CNA and a pre-med student. everyone who got into this field chose to do so with a full understanding of the responsibilities. no one ever said it was easy or glorious. i used to play very high level ice hockey. i never got much public recognition for what i did but that wasn't what i was there for. my teammates recognized how valuable i was in my role and that was all i needed. healthcare is much the same way. you're there for your team and your team has one goal: to care for the patient. that's what it's all about, not getting some petty recognition for sacrificing to do what you're supposed to do.

    December 23, 2011 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mark Jason

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    We are providing preeminent quality self adhesive vinyl stickers at affordable prices besides a special 20% discount on Christmas occasion. We are offering a faster rotation and gracious customer service. All of our custom made stickers are manufactured in the USA. It’s just for you, no peel and stick, easy to remove and re-stick. We use high quality fabric materials including a lamination for vinyl stickers printing, flexible in nature. Moreover, we print custom vinyl stickers in full color by using up-to-the-minute digital printing technologies which makes us proficient to turn jobs around promptly and professionally. You can literally see and feel the difference.

    December 23, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ken:)

    Aggree'd without these people working hard just for us who make simple mistakes. Without them we would not have a life to make better, and not worst. So heed from being a nusance and love the life that has been givien to us. And to the hard workers in the medical field whether it be physical therapy, a RN, LVN even the doctors I and along with everyone who commented would love to give you thanks and many more. Enjoy your holidays and have a wonderful new year 🙂

    December 23, 2011 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. alimonyjones

    While you're at it please remember the veterinarians and vet techs who staff the ER over the holidays serving your pets...

    December 24, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. anna

    thank you doctor. The entire Hospital staff is grateful for a simple thank you. It is hard to be away from your family during any holidays but most medical personnel love to help others. It is nice just to see someone notice the little things.

    December 25, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Donna

    What a nice article! just wanted to add that medical staff work in other arenas such as nursing homes and homecare on the holidays. Homecare is considered the "hospital without walls"

    December 26, 2011 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.