So it's Christmas! (One of the 12 days at least) and you have no idea what to get your loved one in the medical profession.
Or you've already gotten them something... crappy...
Well, no fear! I asked some of my colleagues to come up with a list of what they consider the best "doctor" gifts.
Stuff we actually want.
It was hilarious.
This might sound pretty boring and basic but this was on everyone's list.
Sure, it would have been better if we wanted something healthy like fruit but this is the ULTIMATE doctor/nurse/anyone who works in a hospital or doctor's office, gift because it NEVER disappoints.
We. Love. Chocolate.
It gets us through long night shifts, irritable patients and rude relatives, bossy bosses and missed lunches.
And the snack machine rarely has the good kind.
And a good wine?
I am not a big drinker but give me two bad interns for 3 months and a bottle of wine will be well received... and consumed.
Alcohol is not a solution though!
Ok, chemically it is... but Petra-Esque does not endorse drinking your problems away.
There's golf OR yoga for that.
At my hospital we spend a significant portion of our (very limited) free time admiring each other's socks.
A great pair of socks can really make you feel a bit better if you day has been pretty lousy.
And they keep your feet warm in the freezing call rooms.
I am partial to socks with polka dots and stripes but character socks are high on my list too (although my Cookie monster socks have been banned, more on that later...)
Sock have great power.
Now you know.
Hand cream is a great gift for a loved one in the medical field.
Medical staff wash their hands a lot and antibacterial soap can really dry the skin.
Unscented, ultra-moisturising lotions and creams are best as strong scents can irritate patients and other staff.
A mild, calming scent like lavender is a good option as well.
Lord knows we need a little calm sometimes.
Although this gift was requested by everyone, I was skeptical about adding it to the list.
Come on, who doesn't want a bigger paycheque?
But I didn't want to portray doctors as greedy and uncaring: a common misconception.
Medicine truly is a calling; no one really gets into it for the money.
Mainly because doctors don't make as much as you think.
The plastic surgeons and celebrity doctors that you see on television are the exception rather than the rule.
And most wealthy doctors I know have made investments in their youth that pay off as they get older.
The hustle is real folks.
I'm cute, not rich.
Video games were pretty high up on the list.
Particularly the playstation.
I got many reasons for this too, top one being "improving dexterity" (*cough*, surgeons, *cough*).
But hobbies are an important part of a balanced lifestyle.
So even though I prefer scrapbooking or reading, video games apparently make a great doctor gift.
When you work in a hospital you get called A LOT.
And quite often your phone battery will be drained halfway through the day or your call. (Ross!)
I have a great one from Jackery that can charge both my phones and my ipad.
It's a little bulky but it gets the job done. I love it.
l lose about 4-5 pens a week.
They are either borrowed or stolen (or both).
So instead of just buying that expensive, personalised pen (which we really would appreciate), add a box of inexpensive pens so that we have something to lend or use as a decoy while at work.
Do I need to expand on this?
It's hard to work long hours and night shifts away from you comfy bed and your loving (if slightly annoying) family. This is where your item of comfort comes in.
It can be anything from a comfy sweater to a fluffy pillow (mine is a pink pig) to a blankie... I mean blanket. It just needs to remind you home.
If you have a relative or loved one who is a nurse or doctor, then you know that we are superstitious.
Don't believe me?
Walk onto an empty ward and exclaim how empty it looks.
Walk into a doctor's on call room and mention how quiet things are.
Oh and wear a helmet while doing these things, it will protect your head from the objects flying towards you.
And don't even think about calling an annoying patient's name on a quiet night! It will be sure to send all doctors, nurses, orderleys and maids scampering to "knock on wood".
That said, anything in this category will be MUCH APPRECIATED.
A horseshoe keyring, a lucky bracelet, a cross pendant (there are times you may need that latter) are all things we can use to banish our night from evil...
Of course there is a flip side...
My "lucky" Cookie Monster socks were all worn on 3 very busy on calls and were therefore banished by my team. So there's a thin line that can easily be crossed.
Medical professionals work in a service industry and like any other service industry we get cussed out a lot.
And peed on, spit on and bad mouthed in the press.
So it really feels good when people say thank you.
It doesn't have to be said with a fancy card or flowers.
A simple "Thank you" will do.
Although I did dance around 2 wards singing "I got a post card" when my interns gave me a post card last month...
And I have every patient thank you note stuck to my fridge.
It really is the thought that counts.
"Good health for my family, friends and patients!"
Only one doctor said this, my sweet little intern Ross. (Ok, he's not that little, he towers about a foot and half above me, but he is very sweet... sometimes).
And although everyone else went "Aww man Ross, don't ruin it!"
They (somewhat) grudgingly agreed.
And I mean NOTHING makes a doctor (or nurse) feel better that when her/ his patients gets better.
Except when that patient tries their absolute best to stay well.
One of my first ICU patients made me cry when I saw her on the corridor with her family.
I once walked past a sweet Granny on the corridor because I didn't recognise her in her extra large sunnies (and with her false teeth in) giving Baddie Winkle a run for her money.
But I was disappointed when I saw one of my cardiac patients eating a box fast food.
I will dance and sing when a patient gets something done right, even if its as simple as giving themselves insulin or using their peak flow metre correctly.
Or tear up when my overweight patient loses 3 pounds because they've been exercising and changed their diet.
Stuff like that gets doctors and nurses out of bed in the morning and keeps us going throughout the night.
And that is the best possible gIft that anyone can give.
(That and a ticket to see Ellen.)