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Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas

Festive hospital diaries

Von Adam Kay
12 Minuten
Audio-Version verfügbar
Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas von Adam Kay

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas (2019) details the bizarre and tragic experiences of a doctor working for the British National Health Service, known as the NHS, during the dreaded Christmas shifts. Providing a hilarious and eye-opening behind-the-scenes glimpse into the pandemonium that envelops hospital wards around the United Kingdom during the festive period, it also pays tribute to all the NHS staff who sacrifice their holidays each year to save lives, deliver babies, and remove Christmas paraphernalia from places it doesn't belong.

  • Christmas celebrators searching for some light-hearted antics
  • Britons who commiserate with the hard-working people keeping the NHS afloat
  • Anyone curious to take a glimpse into the tumultuous life of the average hospital ward

Adam Kay is a British screenwriter, author, and stand-up comedian. He’s also a former NHS doctor who has incorporated his experiences into his writing and stand-up routines. He’s the author of the acclaimed runaway hit This is Going to Hurt, which is currently being adapted into a comedy-drama for BBC2.

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Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas

Festive hospital diaries

Von Adam Kay
  • Lesedauer: 12 Minuten
  • Verfügbar in Text & Audio
  • 7 Kernaussagen
Jetzt kostenloses Probeabo starten Jetzt lesen oder anhören
Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas von Adam Kay
Worum geht's

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas (2019) details the bizarre and tragic experiences of a doctor working for the British National Health Service, known as the NHS, during the dreaded Christmas shifts. Providing a hilarious and eye-opening behind-the-scenes glimpse into the pandemonium that envelops hospital wards around the United Kingdom during the festive period, it also pays tribute to all the NHS staff who sacrifice their holidays each year to save lives, deliver babies, and remove Christmas paraphernalia from places it doesn't belong.

Kernaussage 1 von 7

NHS Hospitals attempt to partake in the festive cheer – with disturbing results.

Once a year, at the end of December, the British public collectively succumbs to a fever dream of festivity, trading its usual tight-lipped demeanor for uncharacteristic cheer and goodwill. 

For two weeks, all the normal standards of behavior are turned on their head. People go spelunking into their wardrobes to dredge up the most garish clothing they can find; they actively seek out the relatives they spend most of the year avoiding; and the concept of daily routine goes out the window, replaced with family board games and carb-induced coma-naps – this is the only time of year the British practice siesta.   

It’s a normal and beloved part of British life. But even though the rest of the country’s infrastructure is declining into seasonal dysfunction, health services are too vital for hospitals to close their doors for a week or two. That doesn’t stop them from trying to partake in some of the Christmas cheer. Unfortunately, however, festivity combines with the gore and tragedy of a hospital about as well as eggnog combines with amniotic fluid.

Take the festive sweaters that many wear in the ward, for example – in close proximity, they cause the air to crackle with static electricity, transforming people into human van de Graaff generators. It’s also somewhat unnerving for patients to be given serious medical diagnoses by people wearing novelty apparel. Would you want your prostate examined by a man wearing a Rudolf sweater?  

Things don’t improve much when it comes to ambiance. Many hospitals get festooned with morbid facsimiles of standard Christmas decorations, things like wreaths fashioned from unrolled condoms and Christmas tree angels sporting umbilical cords.

One year, the nurses in the author’s ward adorned googly eyes and red noses to several specula – devices used to open orifices – to create the world's creepiest looking reindeer. 

Another misguided attempt at creating a festive feel in the ward led to a whole room having to be evacuated and deep cleaned. The cinnamon and mulled-wine scented diffuser mingled with the hospital smells of blood, placenta, and feces to produce a stench as potent as noxious gas.

Of course, there are some touching moments to be found as well. There was a tradition in the author’s ward for the head surgeon to slice a turkey in the break room while asking a nurse to pass him each utensil one at a time as though performing surgery – “Knife please.”

Christmas in the ward might not be as cozy as at home, but given the circumstances, it’s good enough.

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