"I felt so strongly about that patient, that it came across in my writing"
First we spotlight on Emma Young, who is starting her new year as a newly qualified registered nurse.
Emma is a ‘home-grown’ nurse having started with St Helena as a healthcare assistant on the ward in August 2015 age 20. After working there a few months, Emma knew she wanted to be a nurse:
“I really loved my job and I didn’t want to leave to go on a three year degree, so I looked at courses online and found the nursing foundation degree which could be topped up with an apprenticeship degree if you have a place of work. I spoke to one of the nursing managers and she was really keen and I started the foundation degree in September 2016 one day a week at Anglia Ruskin University.”
After completing the foundation course, Emma started her top up apprenticeship degree which meant more time at university but also an opportunity to go on work placements in different nursing settings at the hospital and out in the community. The 15 nurse apprentices on the course had different healthcare backgrounds including GP practice and ITU (intensive therapy unit), although Emma was the only one with a palliative care background:
“We could share our experiences with each other. When topics came up and I didn’t know something but someone who works in ITU did, they were keen to help us out. And if the topic was end of life, I was quite helpful for everyone else, so it worked really well.
“Everyone had a home placement in their own place of work so I would shadow one of our nurses all day and do the jobs they would do. It’s good because I’ve worked at St Helena for so long that I know the routine and what the nurses do, where as if I started a new job I would have to learn everything as well as being a new nurse.
“Everyone at St Helena has been really supportive and really keen to get me learning. I’m so grateful that I got to do it as an apprentice because I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.”
One of Emma’s motivations for wanting to train as a nurse was the patients. Before beginning her training Emma would sometimes play the piano in the corridor and sing for the patients. One day the husband of a patient who was nearing the end of her life, asked Emma to sing:
“The patient was my mum’s age and she had a daughter a similar age to me that sang as well. So I sang and I saw the daughter and I asked if she wanted to sing with me and at the end she just cried on me. And then I went off and cried. The patient died the next day so it was really nice she got to hear her daughter sing one last time.
“She always sticks in my head. So when I did a reflection assignment at uni about what therapies other than pain relief you can give to someone, I did a lot about music therapy. I got a really high mark and I think that’s maybe because I felt so strongly about that patient, that it came across in my writing.”
And now Emma is ready to take on her new role:
“It is nerve-racking but exciting. I’m now accountable and responsible for drugs and decision making but I have got a really good team around me. I was talking to Sarah Courtney, Developmental Advance Nurse Practitioner, and she reassured me that every new nurse will feel nervous that they don’t know everything, but you don’t need to know everything, you have a team behind you. And they are so supportive here, I’ve been so lucky and I can’t thank them enough.”
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24 hour advice: SinglePoint 01206 890 360
SinglePoint is a 24/7 advice and support helpline which helps to coordinate an individual’s care with the hospice. SinglePoint also works alongside other healthcare services such as GPs, Community Nurses or Specialists.
To contact a patient at The Hospice please find the address and telephone number below. Phone calls can be made to patients at any time of the day or week. You can contact Inpatient Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Hospice, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, C04 9JU
Telephone: 01206 845 566
You can contact The Hospice in the Home Team Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:
Telephone: 01206 845 566
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Telephone: 01255 221 222
You can contact the Joan Tomkins Centre (Colchester) Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:
Telephone: 01206 848 163
Fax: 01206 752 245
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If you, or a member of your family has a life-limiting illness and would like to discuss whether St Helena care services can help, you can contact the SinglePoint telephone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01206 890 360
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If you would like to write to or visit the Lottery team, the address is: Your Hospice Lottery Office Unit 6 The Atrium, Phoenix Square, Wyncolls Road, Colchester CO4 9AS.
Feedback, comments and complaints about St Helena care and support services may be made verbally or in writing to: Director of Care, St Helena, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, CO4 9JU. To speak to a member of our team, call 01206 845 566