Clinicians, Can You Help this Holiday Season?

Happy November! As we enter this season of giving, we are so thankful for all the doctors and nurses who work tirelessly through holidays to make sure we all receive the care we need. We’re also thankful to the medical employers who are already working hard to ensure that they have staff in place during the holiday season.

Our team at Nomad is here to help everyone this year meet their holiday coverage needs, and we’re requesting all clinicians to submit holiday availability here. Or, if you have not yet joined Nomad, you can do so for free by clicking here.

What is Holiday Coverage?

Holiday coverage in a clinical setting refers to the staffing needs that arise during the end-of-year holiday season, when many doctors and nurses take time off. Across the country, there are hundreds of important clinical shifts to be filled to ensure continued care for patients.

In the context of the ongoing critical clinician shortage in the U.S., you can only imagine how much more impacted medical employers are during the holidays.

If you’re a doctor or nurse who is able to provide holiday coverage, you can be helping to provide much-needed care to those who otherwise would be without.

The Need for Holiday Coverage is Two-Fold

A variety of factors can contribute to increased traffic in hospitals and urgent care centers over the holidays:

  • Increased travel. Heavier traffic may lead to more car accidents.
  • Food-related injuries. Food preparation and cooking may lead to burns and cuts. The large amount of food being prepared and stored increases the possibility of food poisoning.
  • Flu season. Holidays tend to coincide with flu season and with so many people gathering in one place, illness easily spreads.

For the patients who may find themselves needing care during this time, clinicians who work holiday coverage could quite literally be saving their lives.

But the effect of holiday coverage goes deeper than that. It also helps to address an underrecognized factor that may be influencing the supply of physicians -- burnout. For clinicians who have been working long shifts and find that they have to work over the holidays, they might struggle to feel rejuvenated in the new year.

This means that if you are a clinician who happens to have the holidays off, and are motivated to help out, your contribution can help not only patients - but can also help reduce the burdens on fellow clinicians as well. This translates to better care for patients, and better feelings all around.

Benefits of Holiday Coverage

We’ve discussed the benefits that holiday coverage has on others, but there are also personal benefits to be gained from providing holiday coverage:

  • Sense of community. Many clinicians who enjoy providing holiday coverage because of the camaraderie they feel with those with whom they spend the time. They experience extra appreciation from patients over the holidays, which builds a stronger bond with those to whom they’re providing care.
  • Extra income. Hospitals and other facilities may offer higher pay during this time to try and incentivize people to work. Whether you’re taking up a freelance position, or simply staffing more hours, you’ll be making some extra income to make up for all the presents you bought.
  • Unique opportunities. Because the facility has a smaller staff during the holidays, it’s a great chance for developing your career and taking on increased responsibilities.

Regardless of your reason, helping out with end-of-year coverage will help make sure everyone has a great, and truly thankful, holiday season.

How To Help as a Clinician

Ready to start helping? If you’re a clinician who is interested in providing holiday coverage, please fill out this form to let us know your availability, so we can help our facilities fill any needs through January 2018.

If you’re unable to help during these upcoming holidays, but still want to find ways to help during this season of giving, here are some great ways to contribute to your community:

  • Spread the word. If you’re not free, you can still help fill holiday coverage needs by sharing this information with your colleagues. Getting the word out via social media, email, text, etc. will help ensure that facilities can fill any needs they might have.
  • Don’t assume you’re not free. Holiday coverage extends to holidays beyond just Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day. Share whichever days / times you’re free in case there is a need at an unexpected time.
  • Create a positive atmosphere. Just as much as clinicians want to be with their families during the holidays, patients also don’t want to be in the hospital over the holidays. By being there because you want to be, you provide a happier atmosphere for the patients and spread the holiday spirit, even if you’re wearing scrubs.

We hope this helps you to consider providing holiday coverage this season or next, and we you have a wonderful start to your holiday season!

The Nomad Team

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