It’s October 31st and you have a unit full of children (or adults wishing to be children) who are disappointed at being hospitalized on Halloween. Don’t despair! You can bring the spirit, costumes, fun, and of course, the trick-or-treat that comes with Halloween to them!
Planning a Halloween party is an obvious way to celebrate, but here are ideas for sharing Halloween with your patients:
Decorate the nursing unit far in advance of Halloween but on the day itself, plan to bring decorations into the patient rooms and decorate or have the patients help decorate. It does not take much to bring the spirit to them!
Dress the Part
Get permission to dress for Halloween. Of course it is not appropriate on all units, but if you work in Pediatrics it’s a must! No scary costumes please!
Get Family Members Involved
Let patient family members know what is planned for Halloween and encourage them to come in costume and bring costumes for the patients. Yes, adult patients too!
Bring Trick or Treaters to the Patients
Enlist volunteers from different departments to bring goodies to the patients throughout the day/evening hours. Advertise this “Reverse Trick or Treat Day". Instead of the patients trick or treating, the goodies will be delivered to them! If patients can’t have sugar you can substitute for sugar free candy or other little goodies (necklaces, little rings and other party favors).The best part about this is that tricks and treats will be delivered throughout the entire day!
Arts and Crafts Time
Plan a project for the patients on Halloween. Make pumpkin chains out of construction paper or give each of your patients a real pumpkin and supplies to decorate it. This will add to the decorations already in their room and lift their spirits. You can even use hospital gowns to make costumes.
Bring and keep the spirit of Halloween to work that day. Remember, you have to be there too!