Why I love my job: Kate

Having worked as a nurse in nursing homes for nearly 20 years, I had a lot of experience caring for patients and families in the end stages of life. It was an aspect of care I enjoyed and took pride in delivering the highest standard of care that I could within the nursing home environment.

The decision to move was the best decision I made. It’s really hard to put into words exactly why as it sounds strange to say I love my job (considering the role), but I do. The hospice enables staff to deliver the most amazing care in a lovely environment. There is such a calm feeling on the unit, even when we’re busy. The whole team is friendly and very supportive, and there are many opportunities to talk or have a de-brief if needed. It’s a very inclusive place, with Healthcare Assistants, Nurses and Doctors all working closely together to deliver a high standard of care.

As a nurse, I am involved with assessing, planning, and implementing care. We are involved in admissions, meetings, ward rounds and Schwartz rounds, which is an opportunity to talk about and share experiences. We are very open about death and do not shy away from talking about dying. Not all patients go to the hospice to die – for some it’s about getting them to a stage where they can return home.

There’s something very special about caring for someone in their last weeks or days of life, and to be able to ensure their care needs are met and that they die with dignity and respect, with loved ones around them. There are no visiting times and family can stay 24/7. The hospice environment allows a higher staff to patient ratio so you have more time to spend with patients and their families than you would elsewhere. We work so closely with family and build strong relationships with the family and support them.

My job is very rewarding – it is very challenging and at times heartbreaking, but it is an absolute privilege to work for St Wilfrid’s.

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