‘Tis the season of holidays, consumerism, and from a healthcare perspective the impact of the Winter (not so) cold on the very young and elderly. Spending your Christmas in the NHS can be a varied affair. Last year I was lucky to work up until 8am having worked the previous 24 hours, and subsequently rushed home to complete the rest of my christmas dinner. The previous year, I was away from home in Blackburn with no family, friends or christmas dinner.
The previous two years I was lying on an inflatable in our garden swimming pool enjoying the baking heat listening to stories being regaled about Christmas Day laparotomies.
Yes, so working in South Africa over the holiday season was quite a different affair yet somewhat more challenging for those in our surgical department who had to work on Christmas Day. The trauma load was fairly significant; mainly gunshots and road traffic accidents, hence A&E, theatre and ICU were quite busy. The cases were no different from that in the rest of the year, however there was an even greater reward of returning home in the peak of summer, spending your Christmas or Boxing Day eating the same traditional foods, then spending a few hours at the beach.
So, do you even wonder where will you be next Christmas? Maybe it will be a product of your career choices next year.