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Holiday helpers . . . Associate charge nurse manager Nic Holborow (left) and clinical nurse specialist Anna Doherty are just two of the many people who will work during the Christmas and New Year period this year. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

While most of us are counting down the days until we can take a break from work and enjoy the summer holidays, it will be business as usual for some Dunedin residents. Nursing is just one of the many professions that requires staff to work during the Christmas and New Year period. Reporter Jessica Wilson spoke with two nurses who will be working during the holidays.

For Southern District Health Board nurses Nic Holborow and Anna Doherty working during the Christmas and New Year period is no big deal. In fact, they quite like it.

Mrs Holborow, who is the associate charge nurse manager, and Ms Doherty, a clinical nurse specialist, will work on either Christmas Day and/or New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Mrs Holborow said working on Christmas Day was quite fun as people were in a good mood.

Some staff even dressed up for the occasion in Santa hats and Christmas earrings.

“We know we provide an essential service and we are here for people that need us and we are completely OK with that,” she said.

If people did need help at Christmas, the staff tried to make the experience as quick and pleasant as possible.

“You don’t come into nursing in a hospital, in a busy emergency department, thinking that you get your stat days and your weekends.

“It doesn’t faze me. It’s been [my] life for many, many years now.”

Shift work was easy to get used to and because of the hours, meant nurses had time to spend with their friends and families.

“I think we’re really lucky, really,” Mrs Holborow said.

Ms Doherty usually works part-time but will work full-time during the holidays to cover for other staff.

The camaraderie among the staff was strong because they were all there working together, she said.

“Christmas is essentially quite stressful for a lot of families just generally anyway, so we try and do what we can.”

The pair will take a longer break in mid-January.