The Handover: Holiday Edition

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Why not the Christmas Edition, you may ask?

For the same reason I don’t call it the Hanukkah Edition, or the Ramadan Edition, or the Winter Solstice Edition, or the Kwanzaa Edition, that’s why.

Or even the Festivus Edition, for you Seinfeld fans.

No matter by what name you call God, this season holds special meaning to many people. Or at least, it should. It’s a time to rejoice in the brotherhood of man, and show the kindness to one another that our respective deities command. Sadly, it’s a commandment often lost in the stress and holiday parties and crass commercialism, and one routinely ignored the other eleven months of the year.

Some of us, like my buddy Mule Breath, prove that kindness and respect for your fellow man need not be inspired by belief in a deity, nor even practiced only one month of the year.

And whatever else may be said of the season, whether you bemoan the commercialism or remember to pray for peace on Earth and good will toward man, it has always been been true that, for as long as the holidays have been observed, there have been people who spend them away from their loved ones to protect us from our enemies, or keep our streets and homes safe, or care for the sick.

Hence the theme for this edition of The Handover: “The call that made the shift.” The sacrifice isn’t always easy to make, but these are the patients, partners and people that make it worthwhile.

Over in the “Bah, humbug!” corner is TOTWTYTR, whose aversion to Christmas cheer probably lies with the fact that he ain’t Christian and isn’t the sentimental type, anyway. But beneath his hard, cynical exterior lies a chewy nougat center, and he did bestow a thoughtful gift on one of our favorite ER nurses one snowy night.

Happy Medic learned one Christmas that, compared to some people, his problems are nothing. And before you think of his story as a downer, consider that, were it not for he and his engine crew, one family would have been out of a home instead a couple of appliances and half their gifts.

Spence over at Siren Voices tells of a frequent flier patient who unexpectedly left him with a smile on one Christmas night. Read about it here.

Ckemtp from Life Under The Lights demonstrates how one simple gesture can melt a career’s worth of cynicism. It would have made me melt too, CK.

Mama Mia of Dust In The Wind, in a neat twist on The Night Before Christmas, tells us of one of those co-workers that make those holiday nights in the ER totally worth it.

Speaking of co-workers that make it totally worth it, EMS Chick from That’s BLS, Not BS gifts her co-workers on major holidays by offering to cover their shifts while they can stay home with their families. And one particular holiday, she received the best gift any EMT could ever receive: the chance to truly make a difference for someone.

Bernice from I Just Call it As I See It offers a cautionary tale for all, but specifically written for the Christmas season.

Medic Scribe from Street Watch: Notes of a Paramedic tells us a tale of a frequent flier patient, the kind we all know and loathe… until they remind us that even our simplest gestures are often appreciated far more than we realize.

And in that same vein, The Insomniac’s Guide to Ambulances tells a powerful story of a lost and forgotten soul, and how he was saved. An act that, as it turns out, brought meaning to more than one life.

999 Medic offers his heartfelt Christmas wishes to all of us working stiffs, and reminds us that to give of yourself is the greatest gift one can bestow, and need not be limited to one day a year.

Mack505 of Notes From Mosquito Hill got to give someone the bestest early Christmas present evar – their life. And if that’s not enough to make your shift worthwhile, I don’t know what is.

Greg Friese of Everyday EMS Tips points out that the guys at the firehouse are your family, too, and that sharing dinner with them isn’t such a bad way to spend a holiday. He even goes so far as to wish everyone working a quiet holiday shift, but he’d better be careful…

… because Lieutenant Michael Morse of Rescuing Providence demonstrates just what can happen if you thumb your nose at the EMS Gods and say the Q Word on Christmas night.

I certainly hope Shrtstormtrooper of New Nurse Insanity: Fundus Chop! doesn’t have that kind of shift on her first Christmas in the ER. Word of advice, dear –  don’t say the Q Word or the S Word, and for goodness’ sake, don’t ever say, “You know what? We haven’t gotten a really greasy trauma all night!”

That’s it for the themed submissions for the Holiday Handover, but we did receive a few open submissions:

Rogue Medic, in his typically droll fashion, writes of a routine call that certainly did make his shift.

Medic/Nurse points out that ER nursing experience is not necessarily interchangeable with street skills.

Finally, Mr. Fixit points out that, at least where EMS is concerned, stupidity equals job security.

As for my contribution to The Handover… well, my contribution is remaining silent, and spreading the linky love among all the other bloggers who were kind enough to submit posts for this edition. This is their spotlight, so please, read them all, bookmark them, and shower them with comments. That’s what we bloggers live for, anyway.

Next month’s edition of The Handover will be hosted by Buckman over at Gomerville, theme to be announced in the coming days. This will be the First Anniversary Edition, so get to working on your submissions!