Today in the chart

Nine Creative Ways to Thank Your Colleagues Who Worked Thanksgiving So You Didn’t Have To

You didn’t pick a career in healthcare because you expected to be thanked all the time. But it doesn’t hurt…

Photo by: Igor Mojzes/ luckybusiness

This holiday season, as your fork fills with luscious mashed potatoes, crispy yet moist turkey, and creamy gravy at the moment you’ve been dreaming about for weeks, take a second to pause and remember.

Oh, yeah, maybe I should be grateful for everyone working today.

Because as you’re about to do nothing all day except test the limits of your stomach, there are thousands of HCPs still showing up to work over the holidays. Nurses, physicians, NPs, and PAs nationwide run codes, place tubes, and pass meds during the shifts no one else wants.

Here are a few suggestions to show gratitude that don’t require sacrificing family time or your wallet.

Offer To Work a Shift for Someone in Need

Perhaps this isn’t the gesture you hoped for, but it’s worth considering. If you have a struggling coworker who hasn’t gotten time off recently, gift them with a shift switch. (Just be sure they weren’t looking forward to that holiday pay, of course!)

Give a Social Media Shout-Out

Post a special holiday shout-out on social media to honor your work bestie. Tag them, recognize them, and thank them for their hard work. You might even go viral!

Send a Non-Food Goodie Basket

The holidays are all about edible treats, but not everyone can indulge. So it’s extra thoughtful to say “thank you” with gifts like flowers, candles, lip balm, gloves, eye masks, and gift cards. The list goes on.

Just Say Thanks

Not to get all Kardashian on you, but you might be surprised at how much saying thank you — like, out loud — to someone working on a holiday can make a difference. The next time you share a shift with your colleagues scheduled on Christmas, or if you find yourself in urgent care with a sick kid the day of, take a quick second to say thanks.

Drop Off Holiday Hand Lotion

As a healthcare worker, you know all the hand-washing you must do dries out your skin. When I worked as a nurse, I got unreasonably excited about pocket-sized lotions I could keep in my scrubs for a scented pick-me-up between patients. With holiday sales, like at Bath and Body Works, you can affordably buy a batch to drop off at your hospital or office. Just avoid petroleum-based lotions because they ruin latex gloves.

Send Food, but Not on the Actual Holiday

If you’re tempted to shower your colleagues with turkey and stuffing on Thursday, may I suggest you wait and send food another day instead? This holiday season, anyone working will eat plenty of free meals and participate in at least one potluck. But on days between holidays, you can stand out. Brighten up Black Friday with delivered donuts, or order pizza over the weekend when the buzz has died down. And if you’re working those days, even better.

Don’t Forget the Night Shift

Whether you send snacks, drop off gifts, or just say “thank you,” don’t overlook the night shift. When I worked nights, the cafeteria was always closed, as were local restaurants, and I usually felt left out of the fun. When expressing your gratitude, make a special effort to include the night shifters.

Enjoy Your Holiday to the Max

What’s the best way to thank the people working the holidays? Fully embrace your time with loved ones! Load up mashed potatoes, send a sentimental note or some gift cards, and enjoy the festivities made possible by the physicians, nurses, CNAs, and APPs caring for patients while you sleep off your dinner.

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