Hello, my name’s George, and I am a junior staff nurse on the In-Patient Unit, working nights.
Today as part of Hospice Care Week, I am going to talk about how our values of being caring, compassionate and committed shape the work I do.
Hospice care is about caring for people who have a palliative illness. The people we see are cared for as a whole, which involves their physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual care. Each person that comes to St Catherine’s is looked after in an individualized way, taking into account their very unique circumstances. This care also extends to their families and friends.
An important part of what we do is being compassionate and showing compassion.
Compassion is showing sympathy and empathy towards a patient’s situation, whilst at the same time, wanting to alleviate what may be upsetting them. For some people we care for, the night can be a lonely and scary time and place. There are less distractions around, less visitors and in general, less people on the ward. Although this for many is a time to sleep, for some, this quietness can lead to them reflecting on issues. Issues such as their illness, their life, past , present and future, their families and friends and their death. As a night team, we are very aware that this is the case for some people, and we try to encourage people to speak to us, to let them know that they are not alone, and that there is always somebody to talk to. This is what we, as a team, are committed to.
We are a committed team on nights, working towards the organisation’s shared goal of providing the best possible patient care. We have a well established team, with nurses from a variety of different backgrounds. Our newest member of the team has been with us for nearly a year, whilst many have been part of the team for more than 10. This gives us a wealth of experience, not just in nursing, but in nursing within a hospice setting.
We feel as a team, although small in numbers, we are a strong team. But we are also aware that we are a team within a much bigger team. Along with nursing and medical teams, there are many other important departments such as fundraising, family support, education and housekeeping, to mention a few, who make St Catherine’s what it is, including our dedicated volunteers and the wonderful supporters who give so generously and make our work possible.
As we celebrate Hospice Care Week and its theme of We Are Hospice Care, it’s important to acknowledge all these different people showing their care, commitment and compassion in many different ways.