No Christmas break for some hospital workers

Posted at 9:55 PM, Dec 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-25 23:55:59-05

MURRAY, Utah - While many families stayed home around the tree Wednesday morning, a number of others went to work. It’s not the desirable shift, but in many industries, there’s no choice.

For the 100 or so working at Intermountain Medical Center, it was another day at the office. But the employees here say it’s a little more rewarding, helping someone in an unexpected situation have a merry Christmas.”

In the kitchen employees assembled 200 patient holiday dinners, and even though it is a holiday, they’re happy to do it.

“It makes me feel really good because I’m sure that they want Christmas dinner,” says food services employee Raye Lynn Cruz. “So when we provide a Christmas dinner, they’re able to enjoy Christmas.”

The halls were a little more empty, but the buzz of healthcare was still there, with their own kind of festive cheer.

“We’re open 24-7. So someone’s got to do it,” says critical care technician Caitlin Morgan. “And we all take our turns for the holidays.”

Morgan says they always try hard to make emergency department patients comfortable, but make an additional effort on Christmas.

“You want to make if fun for the patients,” says Morgan. “Because I’m sure they have other places they’d rather be as well. So we just have a good time all together, and make the best of it.”

And the patients appreciate it, because if it weren’t for all their hard work, many of them wouldn’t have a Christmas.

“We couldn’t be here with our family for Christmas if everybody here was home with their family,” says Wayne Hendrix. His daughter has been in the NICU for a week. “So their sacrifice is making it possible for us to have Christmas with our baby.”

Overall, though, employees say it is a little bit slower on the holiday, and actually picks up the day after.