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12th May 2022

Celebrating our nurses

On International Nurses' Day, some of our nurses, clinical support workers and healthcare assistants tell us what they love about being there for our patients and families.

St Helena Hospice nurses

I love this job as I feel I can hopefully make a real difference to people. I try to offer support to improve the quality of life for both themselves and their families. It is the little things that really count and it is important to help make positive memories.

Di Turner, clinical nurse specialist, hospice in the home

As a palliative and end of life care nurse, I always say it’s a privilege. Supporting patients and families through their journey with incurable illness. The ups and downs, the tears and laughter, feeling that empathy and connection, ensuring my patients have the best care. Making that little bit of difference goes a long way, making me so proud to be a nurse.

Claire Burton, hospice staff nurse

I’ve been a nurse for over 10 years and I still love it. Realistically, not every shift is perfect but there are always positives to be found.  It is a privilege and an honour to care for patients and families during the last months/weeks/days of their lives.  I view us as ‘midwives of the soul’ and value the time and support we can give our patients on their final journey. 

Niamh Eve, hospice matron

Hospice Care focuses on what matters most to patients and their families. By exploring what is important to them and then working with them to address those issues, our nurses and other health care professionals are able to deliver truly individualised, holistic care that makes a difference to the lives of patients and their loved ones. 

Lisa Parrish, director of care

When the patient wakes at 2am asking if it’s time for 'his girls' to come. After finishing giving personal care and the patient says they feel better. When families greet you and say I'm so glad you’re here. Our patients and families are so grateful at what we do for them all. I feel very horned to be welcomed into patient's home, when they are going through such a sad time. To be able to make some smile, I know I have done a good job.

Caroline Money, healthcare assistant, virtual ward

It's making that impact for people. It's the last time you get to care for that person, and I think it's a really important part of someone’s life and you can't mess it up. It needs to be done right and working in palliative care, I think you can really make that kind of connection with patients and their families, and just keep people comfortable and keep people where they want to be.

Ross Chirgwin, clinical nurse specialist, SinglePoint

Everyone that works here is kind, caring and compassionate. People are made to feel very welcome. Working at the hospice can be challenging as people are at the end of their life in some cases but it's an incredibly rewarding job too. You need to be caring and compassionate, as well as a people person. You need to be dedicated and hardworking, plus have advanced communication skills to be able to speak with patients and their families at a difficult and stressful times in their lives.

Nicola Chadwick, clinical support worker

This year I will have been a qualified nurse for 25 years. I love my job because at the hardest time in a person’s life, we make a difference. People often ask how I could enjoy end of life care, the short answer is that it is so rewarding looking after someone at end of life. Being able to support the patient to have a comfortable death and to die where they want to be, and to be able to support families at their hour of need, make it all worthwhile. There is laughter and there are tears but a huge sense of fulfilment as well. 

Becky Rix, clinical nurse manager, virtual ward

I have always loved my job, helping patients have their last wishes to be in their own home with family and friends around them.

Janet Heil, healthcare assistant virtual ward

St Helena Hospice nurses

In your training people talk about holistic care and that’s what everyone strives for but without a doubt, in palliative nursing that’s where I really see holistic care flourishing because we do have the time and we are set up to look at the person as a whole. It’s not just the physical we are treating. At a hospice you can really meet the person’s needs. I think it’s quite a privilege to care for someone at a very difficult time of their life and support their families as well. We are taken into their lives while we’re nursing them here.

Nicola Hammond, hospice deputy sister

I love my job I really do. It’s ever so rewarding. The nurses I work with, they are all so selfless and they never want to feel there is nothing more they could have done, they always want to feel they have done as much as possible for that person. The team we have are so supportive, so caring, they all really want to do right by that patient and do the best they can and we get a lot of joy about being able to make someone’s last days, weeks, as comfortable as possible.

Jess Hepton, senior staff nurse, SinglePoint

I feel it is a privilege to support patient and families at such a difficult stage of life and this is what makes continue my role when I see what a difference I can make.

Emma Mazerolle, clinical nurse specialist, hospice in the home

St Helena Hospice nurses

It’s such a privilege for people to let me, a stranger, into their homes at possibly the worst time of their life. Midwives say it’s a privilege to be there at the beginning, I say it’s a privilege to be there at the end. Being able to be part of making sure someone has the best death possible, is very rewarding.

Nicky Holland, clinical nurse specialist, hospice in the home

I love the involvement I have with the patients, being able to give my upmost care to each patient we have at the hospice. Something as simple as preparing a bubble bath for a patient so they can relax, and knowing I have made a difference for that person, will stay with me all day.

Sharon Harris, hospice clinical support worker

I feel really grateful and honoured to be a nurse. I think it’s a real privilege to be a part of a patient’s journey at that point in their life. It’s a very private time but in my role I’m welcomed into that; that’s a real honour. I feel like I’m always learning and I’m always keen to keep learning. And it’s good for my soul because I feel like I’m doing a bit of good every day and that’s important.

Emma Collins, clinical nurse specialist, hospice in the home

We are promising to support people in their time of need as much as we possibly are able to. That's all we can do. We treat everyone as individuals and everybody's got things that are important to them. Everyone's got different things that matter.

Katy Billimore, senior staff nurse, SinglePoint

Being a nurse in the inpatient unit is by far a privileged role to have. Not only am I able to care for patients with an advanced life limiting illness, I get the opportunity to listen to and be with patients, and hear their stories; stories not only about their illnesses and how they have coped, but stories of their lives. We can learn so much. Diversity is the key word here. It is a privilege and fascinating to learn about people and professionals from all over the world.

Rick Armstrong, hospice staff nurse

It’s just such a great role to have because you get to know people and they trust you. I might go to somebody and they are absolutely in dire straits and they don’t know what to do with themselves. I manage to sort that out and they have a lot better quality of life for it, then I might ring them a few days later and they’re on top of the world. That’s really satisfying.

Emma Jackson, developmental clinical nurse specialist


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