Our Chris...mas blog: Working over Christmas
Chris Connor, paramedic at EEAST, talks about what it is like working at over the festive Christmas period for the ambulance service.
I have worked for the Trust for 10 years and a paramedic for five years. I currently work out of our station in Great Notley in Essex.
I have worked most Christmases since being here; in fact this year is the first time in four years that I won’t be working on Christmas Day! Working 12 hour shifts, I have my Christmas meal with my family either before or after work, depending on my shift. Unfortunately last year as I was late off so I had to eat late; so am very much looking forward to being at home this year.
I find that most of our patients and their families are particularly grateful of our assistance over the festive period. Some of our patients are very lonely and isolated, especially at Christmas, and spending a bit of time with them to just discuss aspects of their life or something as simple as making them a cup of tea can be really rewarding, as you can see it makes such a big difference to them.
I have attended cardiac arrests on Christmas Day and these are always difficult times for families to deal with anytime, but over the Christmas period this is increasingly hard for them as it is a time where families come together to celebrate. It can be difficult later on that evening to sit with your family and celebrate knowing the family of a patient you attended earlier will have had their lives turned upside down earlier that day and lost a loved one.
Despite being at work, I find there is always a great atmosphere on station at Christmas. Where I work the managers and other crews will take plenty of food in; Last year we had members of the public dropping off food to us at the station as a thank you to us as we were working over the Christmas period - which I was a really nice gesture. Within the emergency services and Hospitals - we all are one big family and always support each other.
There is a great sense of comradery over this time and I really enjoy the atmosphere of working over Christmas.