Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas in the Hospital Wards

Tomorrow on Christmas I will be working.  I’ve worked on December 25th for as long as I remember.  Our offices are closed but the hospitals are open.  I have chosen a profession that must be available to serve at all times.  If I want a day off, then I am obligated to make sure that there is a doctor in my place.

Many professions share this reality.  Nurses, law enforcement, military personnel, hospital workers, firefighters have all worked on holidays when most families were relaxing together.  We accept this responsibility.  But, at times I do suffer a tincture of envy thinking of folks who never have to wonder if they are working on Thanksgiving since they are off on every holiday. 

I remind myself during my Yuletide rounds that the last place that these patients – at least most of them - want to be is in the hospital.  Yes, I will be spend some hours treating them, but I will return home and not face surgery, medical testing and the various indignities of hospital life.  The nursing staff, the most compassionate profession I know, does their best to bring some measure of holiday of cheer to their charges.

Chanukah and Christmas are celebrated and festooned with light.  Don’t we all need some more light?

Wishing everyone the blessings of peace, health and contentment. 

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