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People Are Placing Elf On The Shelf In Hospitals & We're Horrified

Nurses obviously have one of the most taxing, emotionally draining, exhausting jobs on the planet. Not only are nurses responsible for taking care of a patient's physical health, they're almost always on the hook for making sure their patients are doing well emotionally. I'm sure it must be rewarding, but from what I've seen in my limited experience it's also not for the feint of heart. Which is why I love it any time I see a story about nurses having a little fun in their work. And these Elf on the Shelf in the hospital photos are proof that nurses are banding together to find a little silly, good-spirited joy over the holiday season.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has decided to get into the spirit of the holidays by embracing a modern Christmas icon: the Elf on the Shelf. As all parents probably already know, the Elf on the Shelf is a relatively new Christmas tradition based on the 2005 book Elf on the Shelf by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell. The concept behind it is essentially that the Elf is there as an emissary of Santa Claus to report back for the naughty and nice list.

But some critical care nurses decided to have a little extra fun with him... because what happens to the Elf on the Shelf if he gets injured?

As the AACN noted in a Facebook post, there was an "influx of elves admitted into the ICU last year, but our community of exceptional nurses cared for them!"

They're not wrong, of course. In 2017, we did see a few elves in need of a patch up at the hospital, especially if they happened to get in the way of the family dog. So the nurses have decided to take part in a creative social media contest to make things interesting; the AACN asked critical-care nurses to submit their best Elf on the Shelf photos by Dec. 17, and the randomly selected winner will receive a gift certificate to the AACN bookstore.

So let the games begin... here are a few of our favorites for consideration.

These elves weren't in need of care. On the contrary, they were on hand to help a baby.

Here's an elf on brunch duty.

And a daddy elf welcoming the next generation of elves.

This poor elf is not looking too well, sadly, but can we all just take a minute to appreciate the level of work that went into this picture? Please and thank you?

Let's face it; all of the elves are spectacularly happy to be at the hospital receiving high level care from these nurses.

These photos bring me indescribable joy. Because I can picture a team of nurses working together on their breaks, creating these hilarious scenes and hopefully laughing their butts off.

I think it's especially important for critical-care nurses to take a minute, take a breath, and allow themselves a little goofy joy with the Elf on the Shelf over the holidays. Because if anyone deserves a break... it's them.

Well done.

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