Holidays in Healthcare

Holidays can be a stressful time for people normally, and especially so when you have to work your shifts in healthcare. This week, we say goodbye to 2022 with stories from our coaches about their time working during the holidays.

Have a great Holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you for Season 5 in 2023.

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Access the Show Transcript Here


[0:01] Before we get into today’s show, I want to let you know about a great gift idea from MD Coaches. You can actually give the gift of coaching with an MD Coaches,
gift certificate. All you have to do is let us know the amount you’d like to give, and we’ll issue a certificate that your special someone can redeem for a coaching session or sessions, whenever they’re ready. Just visit us at, to get started.

[0:28] Music.

[0:36] Paging Dr. Cook. Paging Dr. Cook. Dr. Cook, you’re wanted in the OR.

[0:42] Music.

[1:06] Hello everyone and welcome to Prescription for Success. I’m Dr. Randy Cook, your host for the podcast, which is a production of MD Coaches, providing
leadership and executive coaching for physicians by physicians. To overcome burnout, transition your career, develop as a leader or whatever your goal might be, visit MD Coaches on the web at because you’re not in this alone.
You know, it’s a little hard for me to believe, but we’re about to bring down the curtain on our fourth season of RX4 Success. So today we’re going to depart from our usual format,
and rather than bringing you another interview guest to talk to us about their journey to success,
we want you to hear from a few members of our MD coaches team. From a purely personal perspective, I think the holiday season always gave me an opportunity to reflect on just what a privilege it has been to serve as a physician.
During my early years, I always volunteered to be on call for my surgeon’s group over Christmas because at the time I had no children of my own and I wanted my partners to have the opportunity to be with their families.

[2:25] What I hadn’t expected during those days in the hospital was the avalanche of expressions of gratitude that I received not only from our patients but also from their families,
as well as from the nurses and technicians and clerical people that are all absolutely necessary in a setting where there is never a closing time.

[2:47] It was a very special feeling for me and I never wished that I could have been someplace else. So in this holiday episode of RX4 Success, we’re going to bring you some remembrances,
from a few members of the MD Coaches team. We want to thank each of you for joining us during this past year and we’re all wishing happy and blessed holiday seasons for each of you.
And now let’s hear from the MD coaches team.

[3:14] Music.

[3:21] I think that the memory I have during the holiday times as a physician that really stays with me is when I had a patient who was dying of cancer in the hospital during the holidays.
And I remember driving to the hospital and seeing all of the lights and the celebrations and the people getting out to shop and then looking up at the hospital and thinking, wow,
there are so many people, you know, within those walls who are suffering, who are dying,
who are very ill.
And it really changed the way I looked at the hospital. I still look at it that way.
And something that came to me during that time was that there was this beautiful offering in our community within those walls where people were given the care, the attention.

[4:24] The people to sit with them as they dealt with very serious illnesses and even as they were dying.
And that’s really stayed with me.
Whenever I drive by the hospital now, I look on the outside at all that’s happening in the world that I can see there.
But then I also have a great appreciation for the work that people are doing to create this space within those walls.

[4:54] That really speaks to many of the values that we express at the time of holidays, the compassion, the caring for those that are less fortunate, the community, you know,
bringing light to very dark situations.
So I think that’s always stayed with me and given me a kind of an enhanced appreciation for the work that’s done in healthcare.

[5:22] Music.

[5:29] Rick Zollinger here, a retired cardiac surgeon for Prescription for Success podcast Christmas Stories. Well, when I was a young surgeon, I had four children and practicing cardiac surgery, I always had patients in the ICU.
Well, on Christmas morning, my nurses in the intensive care unit and the floor would always protect me until at least nine o’clock unless there was a dire emergency. And that way I was able to spend the morning with my children.
Well, we were always done with the tree by, you know, you folks by 730 at the latest.
So I was always had a cup of coffee and was ready to go to the hospital.

[6:04] Well off I would go. I’d wear my Santa hat dressed in green and red, white tennis shoes, everything. I always wore Santa hat. I had candy canes and I took a special prize with me.
So when I got to the units and the floor, I’d get the head nurse and the nurses, they were working a whole shift. So for them, I was bouncing in for an hour.
But for them, it was a nice respite from the day and kind of fun. So I would go in, give everybody candy, laugh and fun and have fun with it.
And when I made rounds, first thing I went when I went into the room with the patients is I had that old fish that you push the button and he said, take me to the river. You all know it.
It was funny as heck and the fish flipped around, fish went back and forth. that just brought smiles to everybody’s face.
And once you get through the morning and got to the middle of the day, patients’ families would show up and they would make it through just fine.
But that was the part that made everybody happy. I enjoyed it, I made it fun.
I got to spend Christmas at home and then I went to the hospital and once the end of the day came, it was back off to a normal day.
But that was my way of making people pep up and feel happy. And always, always, I put a hand on their leg and told them a Merry Christmas.

[7:26] That’s my story and my prescription for success. Best wishes and have a happy holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah.
Dr. Z here. Thank you.

[7:34] Music.

[7:40] I’m Rhonda Crowe and I’m the founder and CEO for MD Coaches and I’m also a nurse. And the Christmas story of working the holidays that always comes to my mind at,
this time of year is from my first year of nursing, bedside nursing. I worked on a med surge floor and on Christmas Eve that year I was having a little bit of a hard time wanting to be with family and but that’s not unusual I don’t think but,
I recall having a patient who was an elderly woman who was in the hospital for some some issue of failing but basically she was she was dying and she
had been made a DNR that was her wish and I recall as I took report that the nurse prior had shared with me that she felt sure that she probably wouldn’t make
it to the end of my shift. And I was concerned about that, so I monitored her.

[8:48] Very closely and sure enough as the shift progressed, so did she. And it became apparent that she probably would not make it to the end of my shift. And I
I remember thinking we should give a call to the family and alert them and let them know so they could come and be with her.
I made a phone call to the daughter who was listed as her family. When I got her on the phone, I could hear revelry and there was obviously a party going on.
I shared the news that her mother wasn’t doing well and that she probably would not make it to the end of the shift. And the response was, I can’t leave, I have a a house full of people here. I’ll be there in the morning.
And she concluded the phone call and she left.

[9:47] And I was stunned by that. Being a young nurse, I hadn’t come across that before.
And coming from a tight-knit family, I couldn’t imagine having that kind of response, but it is what it was.
And so I shared that with my charge nurse and my fellow staff nurses, and they were a wonderful crew, and they could see the effect it was having on me.
And so they encouraged me, since there wasn’t a lot of patients in our unit, to spend the time with my dying patient.
And we had had music on for her to help her to be stimulated, and it had been turned to Christmas songs on her call light radio.
And I took my charting and I sat with her, held her hand and…
She passed. And it was in that moment that I realized that life is very, it’s very fragile. And my concerns about not being with my family faded away because in that moment,
this woman was my family and I was hers. And that’s what I learned at the very tender age of that that first year that we serve a very vital role.

[11:16] Especially when we’re there on those holidays and family can’t be with our patients.
And I know I will never hear Silent Night in the same way ever again without the thinking of my patient.
So for those of you who are working the holidays, Please know you serve an amazingly vital role.

[11:42] For the patients who have to be in the hospital and rely on your support.
You are loved and you are needed.
We wish you well and I am grateful for you and thank you.
I wanna wish you all happy holidays, whichever one you may observe and peace, joy, and blessings.
Thank you so much for joining us for this special holiday edition of RX4 Success.

[12:17] Our first episode of Season 5 will release on December 30th for subscribers and January 3rd for the public.
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