Apple watch, shoes, bamboo pillows – stunning Christmas giveaway 2016


It’s been a big year for the Nurse Uncut blog – in June we had a brilliant redesign which gave us a fresh new look. And this year we have a brilliant Christmas giveaway to match. To thank you all for reading, commenting and in some cases writing for the blog in 2016, we have an incredibly simple contest with stunning prizes.

To enter*, simply tell us in the comments below about your most memorable Christmas at work.

[If you’re shy and don’t want to post online, simply send your memory and your name and address via our Contact form to enter.]

You could win:

  1. An Apple watch! What more can we say!watch

2. One of two pairs of Oxypas shoes (your choice of style), especially made for people who are on their feet for hours each day.

oxypass-shoes3. One of two double sets of Feel my Bamboo Pillow pillows with cases – the smash hit of the 2016 NSWNMA Professional Day trade fair.


This contest is open Australia-wide to nurses and midwives who are Australian residents and who are subscribers to our Nurse Uncut e-newsletter. (Make sure you can enter – sign up here.) You must also be a member of your nursing/midwifery union – this contest is brought to you by the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association.

The contest closes at midnight EST Thursday 15 December and we will draw the winners the next day.

It’s easy to enter and you could have a fabulous prize coming your way!

PS: We’re always looking for contributors to the blog – so if you’re a nurse or midwife (or student) with a tale to tell, get in touch at nurseuncut at 

We are authorised to conduct competitions under NSW permit LTPM/16/00329.


  1. It was many years ago, as a student nurse at St Vincent’s in Sydney.
    I was disappointed at having to work on Christmas Day again (3 out of 3).
    Our amazing charge nurse, Sr Annette, in the wonderful ward 14, men’s medical, had organised Christmas parcels for all the men. She had been in touch with many companies and they had donated lots of items for gift parcels. T/shirts, toothpaste and toothbrushes, razors and some sheets. You see most of the men on this ward at Christmas were homeless and had no one to spend Christmas with let alone any gifts. It was a fantastic morning watching and sharing in this gift giving.
    Everyone was truly filled with the Christmas spirit. It was all thanks to a beautiful nun who cared for her patients and her staff.

  2. As an athiest I always chose to work Christmas to enable my fellow staff to celebrate the occasion. On Christmas Day, a couple of years ago I triaged an elderly lady. She started to say she was sick and then she stopped.
    She then said that she was just lonely at home at Christmas and wanted to be with people and could she stay for the day please.
    I felt like crying but I held it in. I said of course and gave her a hug.
    We admitted her into EMU for the night, via fasttrack, she was very happy and so was I.
    There are many elderly people whose friends and relatives have died. They depend on us for health and at times for company and support.

  3. I was working night duty one Christmas and I decided to dress up, adorned with a tutu, green gym boots, a brightly coloured t-shirt and a couple of pairs of special glasses (the ones with the stuck on eyes and where the eyes popped out). It amused most of us through the course of the shift. We had a mental health patient in ED who we were transferring to a unit and I needed to go and sit with him for a while. I thought I’d better take off my tutu and glasses in case he started telling the nursing and medical staff in the unit about the nurse wearing a tutu and strange glasses and him not being believed. He did like the green shoes I was wearing though.

  4. I use to work in a dementia unit and one of the most memorable xmas’s was when I was singing ‘we wish you a merry xmas’ and one of the residents, a nun who use to be a school teacher, out of nowhere sat down at the piano and just started playing the same song. We sang and sang and she played and played. The resident had never played before or ever again. Her sister told us she always played the piano when she was a young person. I will never forget this special day.

  5. I was working night shift as an undergrad AIN specialling 3 patients. One Polish, one Greek and one Macedonian. The onset of dementia meant that none of them could communicate with me or each other. The only thing signalling Christmas was a decoration hanging at the door. An RN stuck her head in the door and wished me a Merry Christmas, it was just after midnight. I knew my day ahead would be better than theirs. So I googled some Christmas greetings and when I did get to talk with them in the morning their reactions were priceless. Reaching out, smiling, connecting. The best Christmas present I could have asked for.

  6. Working Paediatrics many years ago, 100s of kilometres from family, the ward was all decorated with tree, handmade by patients and bought decorations. Had a number of young indigenous patients on floor, just before breakfast time a red dressed gentleman entered the ward and handed gifts to all the patients.
    To see the look on those children’s faces and the enjoyment they had throughout the day was wonderful.
    It made up a bit for being so far away from the family.

  7. Special care in trying times
    17/12/2008 1:00:00 AM

    CHRISTMAS will be a little brighter for seriously ill patients in Westmead Hospital this year, thanks to a group of nurses and a department store.

    Each year, the nurses on cancer ward C5C decorate the corridors and rooms in an attempt to bring some Christmas cheer to the patients who have to spend the holiday season at the hospital. But with broken lights and baubles, and a general lack of decorations because of money shortages, the nurses called it “Crap-o-Christmas”.

    Senior nurse Ruth Hemingway-Frior decided to change things and wrote to Myer Parramatta’s visual merchandising department asking for decorations to be donated to the ward. Thankfully, Myer agreed to help and a team from the store spent several hours decorating the ward last week.

    “Last year I vowed that I would do something to improve the atmosphere in the ward at Christmas, because let’s face it: everyone patients, visitors and the staff would prefer to be some other place than a cancer ward at Christmas,” Ms Hemingway-Frior said.

    “The people we look after are average people from the western suburbs of Sydney, people with average jobs who live in average houses but who constantly amaze us average nurses with their feats of courage.

    “Watching their struggle to live and get by when they know they are facing the end of their lives, you know, doing things we take for granted like getting up in the morning and having a shower and going out for the day. It takes them a great deal of energy and physical and emotional strength to do that.

    “Everyone is affected by cancer. You might know someone who died or someone who recovered or it might be you.

    “People think it must be depressing working in a cancer ward, but it’s not. These people have had life’s challenges and know how to make the most out of every day.”
    Patient numbers on Christmas Day usually dropped from about 35 to 10, Ms Hemingway-Frior said.

    “Anyone who can get out would break all records to do it but for those who have limited mobility and can’t get out of bed, we bring Christmas to them and their families.”

    Ward C5C sees patients with all cancers. Helen D, is nearing the end of her life after a long battle with bowel cancer.

    “It’s our goal to get her out of here to spend Christmas Day with her family,” Ms Hemingway-Frior said. “Someone else in her position would have given up already. She has a lot of courage.”
    Helping to ease the pain: Nurses Pia Tolentino (back row), Penny Churchward, Ruth Hemingway-Frior with Girraween patient Helen D and her daughter Mary. Helen, who has bowel cancer, hopes to be going home for Christmas. Picture: Wolter Peeters

    Parramatta Sun. 17/12/2008.
    Project and Media attention instigated by Ruth Hemingway-Frior

  8. As an aged care nurse Christmas is that day of the year that every one makes a little extra effort, its great to see all the staff in Christmas shirts and residents dressed to impress waiting on family to visit and hearing great grandchildren running in the halls there is always a smile on faces. One of my favourite things is snacking on all the goodies that the ladies axillary provide to our nursing staff for their dedication during the year all ways a treat!

  9. I’ll never forget working one Xmas early on in my nursing career on a psych-geri ward where one of the usually cheekier patients surprised us skeleton staff to no end with his rip-roaringly hilarious tales of being a shopping centre Santa Claus for over 30 years. Some of the stories made even the most seasoned nurses blush! By the end we were all in tears of laughter & joy! It was certainly one Xmas that I’ll never forget

  10. My daughter saying to me that she couldn’t remember a Christmas with me at home, not at work. I can’t get that back and put right.

    • That is tragic. Either you were desperate for the extra money or whoever did your roster sucks. I hope you spend Christmas with your daughter every year now.

  11. About 20 years ago I was working on the medical ward on Christmas Day. One patient was a quiet chubby older man. He had no visitors. That day he was dressed in hospital pajama shorts and no shirt. Towards the end of the shift the carol singers came to the ward and I joined them. He was sitting slumped on the side of the bed looking sad and lonely. Still singing, I sat beside him and put my arm around him. He broke into childlike sobs but squeezed my hand in thanks. I still feel sad and choked up when I think of him at that moment.

  12. Working one Christmas in a community mental health setting and organising a Christmas feast for the residents who had been forgotten by their families because sadly they were considered too much hard work. The joy these guys experienced that day was very rewarding and I also had a wonderful day being part of that.

  13. My very first Christmas as a nurse, well trainee enrolled nurse. I was 17 years old and working in a brain injury rehab unit. I was looking after a young 20 year old with severe closed head injury who had been in a coma for 4 months after an mva. I took an interest in her, I guess because she was so close to my age. Her dedicated parents came every day talking to her, doing her hair etc. Xmas day was no different. They all came in with gifts for the nurses on duty, knowing that we could respond to them in a way their own daughter could not. The parents were caring for their daughter, wishing her a merry Christmas, when she opened her eyes for the first time. Although for such a short time, it was a beautiful moment for all, with not a dry eye in the ward. A truly blessed Christmas.

  14. I work in Aged Care and about 2 years ago another RN and I decided we would do the Christmas decorations. We worked in opposite wings, so it became a competition and very secretive, involving the staff. Eventually the staff in each section decided to get into action and it was all out war, fun war, but it was great. Homemade decorations was the theme in the section I worked in, I even made a red fireplace out of continence boxes, and the staff got so involved which made it exciting for the residents. Next we heard that there were prizes and a vote as to the best decorated ward. There were 3 wards in each section. It was a great Christmas and the staff morale had risen. The decorations in each area were beautiful and everyone received a prize, it really looked like a magical Christmas for everyone.

  15. > T’was the night before Christmas and all through ED,
    > A few patients were stirring it was almost three,
    > The night had been busy with MIs, MVAs and lots more,
    > A constant flow of sick and injured had come through the door.
    > The patients were nestled all snug in their beds,
    > With drips, monitoring and some bandaged heads,
    > It was nearly time for me to go for my break,
    > A strong cup of coffee and some rich Christmas cake.
    > On my way to the tea room I heard a small cry,
    > A 6 year old patient with tears in her eyes,
    > She said she wasn’t sick and wasn’t in pain,
    > And she felt bad and didn’t want to complain;
    > I quizzed her further and she said it was because,
    > She was worried she wouldn’t be found by Santa Claus,
    > I said I am sure the reindeers will know where to go,
    > Deep down in my my mind I hoped this was so.
    > There is something to be said for my workmates and my town,
    > At handover Santa was there with us doing the round,
    > The 6 year old from last night who had tears in her eyes,
    > Was now so excited from the biggest surprise;
    > Nurse Ben donned the beard and the famous red suit,
    > Grabbed the donated presents from the back of a ute,
    > The community had donated them for this special day,
    > It was the most memorable work Christmas I’ve had to this day.

  16. My first Christmas as an RN working nightshift on the ortho ward. Had some very interesting injuries admitted on Christmas Eve.
    The most memorable was a gentleman in his mid 50s who had consumed many many glasses of Christmas cheer (bourbon) and decided to go outside and practice his golf swing at 2am. Being intoxicated he couldn’t manage to stay on the path, slipped and broke his leg in 4 places, but only realised when he couldn’t stand on his leg. The big “cracks” he heard made him wonder!
    He was well anaesthetised and pain free until Christmas morning when he sobered up. Poor guy needed quite a bit of analgesia to get him through Christmas!

  17. Working on Christmas Day in Aged Care we all make an extra effort. Funny hats, colourful scrubs. Racing to get those residents going home for the day ready. Cheering up those who have no visitors. Sing songs a plenty. Then home for some time with the family.

  18. Definitely years ago, as was in the old ICU of my favourite hospital, (since Lidcombe closed 10 years ago when the new ‘single rooms’ ICU opened) – 16 main beds then and Christmas decorations everywhere but major disastrous cases and worn-out staff.
    Several nights each week I bring in lollies and other snacks/ fruit for the staff but this night shift I bought about 50 Cornetto ice creams for the staff, to de-stress and help relax them. Some had 2 and I gave some to the adjoining CTICU staff. Had 6 left so thought who else can I cheer up at midnight, so I rang Specimen Reception. All they normally get is blood, pus, poo and phlegm.
    “Hi! This is Bernhard in ICU! Can I ask how many of you are working there tonight?”
    “Why?” was the response.
    “I have a present to send to you in the black tube” (specimens went via the pneumatic tube system).
    – “Two”
    – “Great! Two presents then!” said I.
    – “No… 4!”
    – “OK then 4… I’ll send the tube”
    Then came “what name is on the black tube?”
    ???? “name? – there’s no name on any tube. It’s a black tube, same as always. By the way, where are you in the building?”
    – “Why do you want to know that?”
    “Because we forever send you specimens but I have no idea where you are. Are you in the same building as ICU”
    “….no, we are next to Blood Bank”
    “Great – hope you enjoy Christmas”

    Off went 4 cornettos on the Polar Express.

    Three hours later Security walked into ICU “Where is this Bernhard person?”
    “Hi guys (I knew them) – what’s up? Do you want a Cornetto?”
    – “Look! We have enough crap coming from the idiot psychos coming into ED without getting a Bomb Call from Spec Reception. We got up there to find the staff hiding outside behind concrete pillars for protection. They said you sent suspicious items to them!”

    I of course asked if they were kidding and that I sent them Easter eggs at Easter and occasionally bags of lollies. I rang ‘upstairs’ to ask why they would think I’d send a bomb, especially after saying “Hi this is Bernhard in ICU” (as on previous occasions)
    -“some people send tubes full of metal forks and knives or bottles that break on arrival and scare the crap out of us when they hit”…
    (And I didn’t tell them the ‘name’ on the tube – they thought black blood tube and I meant the large black tube canister that we sent specimens in)

    Anyway, Security said they took the ‘suspicious object’ with them and already ate the cornettos.
    When I went home in the morning via ED I had several “there’s the XXXX hospital bomber” from some of the nurses who knew me.
    Still buy food for nurses but nothing for the paranoid people after that.

  19. Working in the community for the last few years I loved working Christmas morning and helping people get ready for Christmas, putting their special outfits on, the excitement of seeing family, helping prepare Christmas lunch. It was always an honour to be able to share some very special memories with people and their families knowing it would be much different if we couldn’t provide that service. And then of course returning Christmas night to assist in their evening routines, seeing the love in their eyes and listening to the stories and special moments they had throughout the day. Christmas is the best when you get to help others have a great day!


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