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 (744 Responses)
  1. trailer repair shop near me


    May 12, 2021 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. what kind of paint to use on a horse trailer


    May 12, 2021 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rv and camper repair near me

    There is certainly a great deal to find out about this subject. I really like all the points you made.


    May 12, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. california girl pics

    This is the perfect blog for anybody who would like to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    May 12, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rv interior upgrades

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 12, 2021 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. rv repair near me now


    May 12, 2021 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv furniture southern california

    This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 12, 2021 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. trailer parts orange county

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I actually thought you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    May 13, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. rv repair santa fe

    Excellent article. I'm experiencing many of these issues as well..


    May 13, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. truck shop in orange


    May 13, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Chevy Van Repair

    You've made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 13, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Couches Riverside


    May 13, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Sound System California


    May 13, 2021 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. oc towing mission viejo


    May 13, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 2010 Sprinter Seat Belt Buckle Repair


    May 13, 2021 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv step repair parts

    I used to be able to find good information from your blog articles.


    May 13, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. accident repair shop near me

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own site now 😉


    May 14, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. good sam rv warranty reviews


    May 14, 2021 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Repair Shop For Mercedes Sprinter Vans


    May 14, 2021 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv rentals california orange county

    Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!


    May 14, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. collision center of temecula temecula ca


    May 14, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. trailer maintenance near me

    Great info. Lucky me I recently found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!


    May 14, 2021 at 05:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Flooring Near Me

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be helpful to read content from other authors and use something from other websites.


    May 14, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. orange county truck service

    I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own blog and would like to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Many thanks!


    May 14, 2021 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Dent Repair Orange County

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?


    May 14, 2021 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Maserati 2017 Models


    May 14, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Eye Care Center

    This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 14, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. five bedroom homes for sale near me

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    May 14, 2021 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. rv solar installation near me


    May 14, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Blue Maserati

    Very good article. I will be going through a few of these issues as well..


    May 15, 2021 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Opthamologist Near Me

    Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    May 15, 2021 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. homes for sale dalton gardens idaho


    May 15, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Computer Glasses


    May 15, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Maserati For Sale Florida


    May 15, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Eye Appointment Near Me

    Great web site you have here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 15, 2021 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Oakley Rx Sunglasses


    May 15, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Hel Networks Aika

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for something concerning this.


    May 15, 2021 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Главная

    I have learn a few good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking ffor revisiting.
    I urprise how a lot effort you place to create this sort of great
    informative site.

    May 16, 2021 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Social Media Marketing Consultant

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    May 16, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. aika online private server source

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 16, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Digital Marketing Programs

    Excellent article. I absolutely love this website. Keep writing!


    May 16, 2021 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. burgers near me


    May 16, 2021 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. mcd shades repair


    May 16, 2021 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. camper van near me

    After looking over a few of the blog posts on your website, I really like your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know your opinion.


    May 16, 2021 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Van Meter Auto Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Van Dent Repair

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It's always exciting to read content from other writers and use something from other sites.


    May 16, 2021 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. How Fast Does A Maserati Go


    May 16, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair Service


    May 16, 2021 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Maserati Mike


    May 16, 2021 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. E 150 Van Power Window Repair

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Appreciate it!


    May 16, 2021 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to Mercedes Sprinter Van 2015 3500 Repair


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

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.