Tuesday 19th December 2017

UK

"Merry Christmas from MacDermott Unit!

Christmas on the unit is a really special time for us, when the staff and patients come together to celebrate the festivities like a big family. 
 
Being in hospital at Christmas is difficult for our patients and their families – it's not where they want to be at this time of year! We try and create a festive atmosphere and the team all make a big effort to ensure it feels like chrsitmas.

We play Christmas music, provide party food and decorate the nursing station with Christmas Stockings and the staff wear Christmas brooches and festive hats! 

Any Christmas cards that the patients give us are displayed for all to see, just like you would at home.
 
It's a privilege to share this special time of year with our patients in what are very difficult situations. There's a different atmosphere on the unit to usual, patients' faces light up and they chat to their fellow patients as if they're old friends making plans. They share their Christmas traditions and hopes for the new year.

In terms of treatment and clinics, it's business as usual. We administer treatments right up to Christmas day and directly after, so it can be hard knowing that we've given patients drugs that might make their Christmas difficult or uncomfortable because of the side effects.

Christmas does tend to be quieter, although this gives us a special opportunity to spend even more time talking to patients and listening to their stories. The hardest thing is knowing that there will be some patients for whom this is their last Christmas.

Our main Christmas tree (we have 3!) has baubles on that were gifted to us by a patient that passed away. Every year when we decorate the tree, we think of her and her family."

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