Holidays Are For Healthcare Providers, Too

Happy holidays everyone; it’s insane how fast 2017 passed by. In honor of the holidays and December being my 3 year anniversary with my GI, I decided to make holiday gift bags for my doctor, his Medical Assistant and his receptionist.

Through the years my health with Ulcerative Colitis have been crazy (to say the least). From extremely high-highs to lows that made me question if the “fight” is even worth it some days. Although my health isn’t perfect, nothing in life is and I’ve learned to appreciate how far I’ve come and to continue to strive for better while still living (in) and accepting the moment.

When you find good healthcare providers; keep them, appreciate them.

I’ve had my share of experiences; enough to know that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to healthcare. – This includes doctors. Every doctor (no matter the specialty), is not a fit for every patient. While my gastroenterologist and I don’t agree on everything all of the time, one thing is apparent: he and his staff truly love what they do.

Since day one I have seen the same receptionist when I walk into the office. Since day one, for the last three years she has had the biggest smile on her face. She greets me by name when I walk through the door. “Hey Shawntel! You look so pretty!”  On some of my worst days it’s something like “Are you okay? What’s bothering you?”  And when I leave she always wishes me well. The longest I have ever waited (to be seen) has been about 5 minutes. My doctor’s medical assistant goes above and beyond: Every. Single. Day.

Working full time is hard enough without having to schedule follow ups, infusions, blood work, the list goes on!

But I have never once had to explain this to her. She does the impossible; I have no idea how but she always makes it work. The main line is a general number; they schedule appointments and answer questions, but it’s not the office / people I usually see.  I so appreciate what they do, but they aren’t always able to handle my requests, especially because I can only come on certain days during certain hours.

When I call my doctor’s assistant I never have to ask twice. She always finds something. Same for medications. She makes me process of getting drugs covered extremely smooth. She’s efficient and amazing. My doctor meets that same standard of amazing. I love how solution oriented he is. In the three years I’ve seen him, he’s never gotten “stumped.” If one option fails, he moves to the next or consults with a partner. I never feel pressured to do anything, yet know everything he recommends is in his expert opinion from years of education and experience. I trust him. I trust all of them.

This year was the perfect time to show it. I have planned on doing this for a while now, but better late than never right? I am so grateful for quality care. Whether it’s a gift bag or a simple homemade card, I’m sure your providers will be more than happy with whatever way you choose to show your appreciation this season!

If you are considering doing something for your healthcare providers, this may work for you!

You most definitely do not have to get/use what I did by any means, but here are just a few ideas and insights on how I pulled this little surprise off. I also posted a video to my blog showing how I decorated these cute little bags too!

  1. Decide on a theme: I chose to make gift bags! Quick and simple. You can decorate them in many ways and it certainly fits the holiday spirit!
  2. Make the most of your dollar: I chose to shop stores that had sales to optimize my time and money. These sales allowed me to not only shop for my healthcare providers, but my entire family!
  3. Remember, it’s the thought that counts: Whether you’re shopping for sweaters and Starbucks or baking sweet treats, remember a gift is only as good as the thought behind it! Don’t worry if you’re on a budget! Start with good intentions, the rest will be great!
  4. Add spunk: You can use creative lil snacks and decorations to take your gift to the next level. For example, the gifts I bought for the bag were purchased at the mall. Everything else (candy, chocolate, tissues, ect.) were from the dollar store! I split each $1 bag of chocolate/candy amongst the three goodie bags!
  5. Most importantly, with whatever you decide to do, remember to have fun! The holiday season is all about giving and appreciation. Keep it cute and light-hearted. Don’t stress over the little things, just enjoy in the moment and I’m sure it’ll be great!

And there you have it! Quick and easy tips for a DIY (or any) holiday gift! If you’re looking for specifically what to get, I would suggest anything you know they absolutely need and/or love.

Some good examples may include:

  • coffee / gift cards
  • pens / stationary
  • sanitizer and/or tissues
  • lunch

If you’re interested in a DIY, I know a lot of my friends decided to bake this year! After all, who doesn’t love a sweet treat? I went to deliver my gifts a few days before the office closed for the holidays; I took my goddaughter along with me just for fun! I arrived to an empty office, (my MD was on call and needed to be at the hospital  I left his gift with his assistant). The receptionist was the first one I saw, as always! Because of the glass door, she was able to spot me walking in.

She and my doctor’s assistant were so excited to see me! They immediately invited me back as we chatted it up and they accepted their gifts. I could tell easily how something so small, that literally may have taken me 10 minutes to create, made their entire day! It made me feel good knowing that after all that office has done for me: last minute appointments, weekend health scares, random calls on medications, you name it. I was able to give them (back) at least of portion of the good they’ve done for me.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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