Well, it's officially the holiday season. I spent last weekend wrapping all of my presents (three total hours), adding ribbon with name tags (two additional hours) and applying stamps and stickers to some of the packages (one hour). This weekend I hope to bake a batch of cookies that would fit in well with the five inches of snow that fell last night (and would also help me avoid shoveling the driveway).
Because Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year, I was able to take most of the week off but only needed to use two vacation days since my clinic is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The same pattern applies to the following week with New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. As I've been scheduling my patients for their follow-up appointments, I realized that although the time off is nice, it's also difficult for patients to receive the therapy they need when the clinic is closed.
What happens to your clinic over the holidays? Are you able to take time off to spend with your family and friends, or are the needs of your patients the priority? Is there a way to compromise? I remember working on Christmas at the hospital in acute care and many patients and families were always surprised to see physical therapists working on the holiday. I can understand their perspective since many times physical therapy is not "critical" for acute-care patients. However, I'm always grateful when our services are needed and wouldn't want to lose an opportunity to educate patients on the benefits of physical therapy.
There are some times when I struggle taking time off from work because I don't want my patients to have a gap in their care, and other periods when I'm not as concerned because I need the break. It's important to take time for ourselves throughout the year.
Here's to wishing you and yours a safe, peaceful and blessed holiday season.