Why I Work Christmas – A Nurse’s Story


Contrary to the popular belief of those who don’t work on Christmas, we don’t choose to work just because we’re paid a little more. Sure, it might be easy to palm that off as a reason, but it’s certainly not the only one. There’s another reason which makes us exceptional as nurses and midwives.

We’re a caring bunch, otherwise we’d have picked a different career! It goes a lot deeper than just doing our job looking after our patients. We also care so much for our families and, of course, we care a lot for our co-workers as well.

It’s pretty obvious what Christmas time means for most people and how important a time it is for family. Whether it’s my home family, work family or whoever else I’m close with, Christmas is the time we all come together.

I’ve noticed something special about working during this time of year. Many of us have families at home enjoying the day without us and it genuinely feels like that’s what binds us together. There’s no serious grumbling about being at work because we know what each of us has given up to help our patients and each other. While we’re grateful for each other all year round, on Christmas, that really shines through. 

Not everyone could do what we do. There’s something unique about being a nurse or a midwife and our ability to work long hours to deliver care to so many different people at once. We’re especially resilient in our ability to do this every day of the year, at any time of day.

At the end of the shift, we get to go home to our roommates or our cousins or our video call with family members across the globe or our pets who have been patiently waiting. Much like our work family, we’re grateful for our home families too. As much as we miss out on them, they miss us a lot too and we’re very thankful for the sacrifice they make. And if we’re lucky, they will have saved some ham or prawns from lunch for us.

We work Christmas because we care, it’s as simple as that. Patients need our help 24/7 and we want to be there for them. And we’re not about to let our work family down.

Are you working through Christmas or New Year’s Eve this year? Let us know why you’re working and what you’re looking forward to when you get home.


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