How the Holidays Affect Healthcare

 

stethoscope and christmas decorations

The holidays usually invoke feelings of peace, joy, and celebration for most individuals. Amidst all of the celebrating, it’s not uncommon for people to get swept up in the holiday season and consequently, pay little attention to their health. Whether it’s illnesses that occur during the winter or accidents associated with the holidays, here are some ways in which the holidays affect healthcare. 

Holiday Depression 

While most people tend to take pleasure in celebrating the holidays, some struggle with depression. Though depression can occur at any time of the year, the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December could lead to feelings of loneliness or lack of fulfillment. Holiday depression usually stems from social isolation. People who experience feelings of disconnectedness generally avoid social interactions or gatherings during the holidays. Behavior, such as socially withdrawing, tends to make the feelings of loneliness and symptoms of depression worse. There are various actions that can be taken to deal with holiday depression.  

  • Reaching out to a friend or family member for support
  • Talking to a therapist 
  • Not giving in to holiday pressures
  • Practicing self-care 

The Holidays May Bring About Trips to the ER 

Emergency rooms have a habit of becoming quite crowded within the months of November, December, and January. Some of the conditions most witnessed are accidents. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), 12,000 to 15,000 people find themselves in the emergency room every holiday season due to accidents related to decorating. Among these accidents are injuries sustained from the following. 

  • Falling from ladders
  • Getting stabbed with a metal hook
  • Drunk driving

The best way to prevent such injuries from happening is to take precautions. Do not string up Christmas lights alone and avoid driving if you have been drinking. Taking these precautions will decrease your chances of ending up in the ER with such injuries.  

The Holidays Can Affect Healthcare Providers 

The holidays affect healthcare, particularly healthcare providers. Like their patients, healthcare providers are prone to experience the stress and anxiety that can come with the holidays. Many healthcare professionals are continuing to work with COVID-19 patients, after months of maintaining a heavy workload associated with the pandemic. Apart from the responsibilities of their personal life, they have numerous responsibilities to their patients. These responsibilities increase around the holidays, especially since the cold and flu season occurs within the same time frame. During this time, the staff of healthcare providers may decrease in attendance, which means a heavier workload for the remaining staff. Healthcare providers can avoid holiday depression and administrative burnout by: 

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Paying attention to your diet 
  • Taking breaks
  • Preparing mentally for the patient influx 
  • Remembering that patients are dealing with holiday stress too

Reducing the Affect Holidays Have on Healthcare

While it is difficult to completely avoid some of the ways in which the holidays impact healthcare, there are some progressive steps to take.  

  • Seek out help if you are struggling with holiday depression
  • Take precautions when decorating, to avoid possible injuries 
  • Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol 
  • If possible, visit a local urgent care facility instead of the ER

Contact Fast Chart

Fast Chart provides innovative, accurate, and affordable outsourced clinical documentation that can help your practice all year round. With services such as computer-assisted coding, automated transcription, and speech understanding, we can ensure accuracy in your clinical documentation. These services can also assist in relieving stress for your employees, and can help prevent nurse burnout during the holidays. To learn more about how Fast Chart can be of service to your organization, contact us at (919) 477-5152.

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