I spent 10 years of Critical Care mainly on a Cardiothoracic Unit and during my time on Critical Care I realised that not all patients recover and that when death occurs it is often very traumatic with families not having time to prepare.
Palliative care nursing helps people have a good quality of life even if quantity of life is limited.
When a role was advertised at St Luke's I had already started looking for a new role in the city as part of a family move.
I now work in the St Luke’s Integrated Community team, supporting patients who are being cared for in their own homes across Sheffield - somewhere most of us would choose to be when unwell.
During the pandemic, even more people than usual wanted to be cared for and supported at home which meant our team has been busier than ever supporting patients and their families and carers as much as we possibly can.
The role here is very dynamic so satisfies my 'technical nursing' mind with complex symptom management as well as the softer side of looking after a patient’s 'head and heart'.
I have now qualified as a Non-Medical Prescriber which allows me to prescribe in the same way that a GP would.
This, alongside another qualification which allows me to examine patients in a more detailed way, form part of a Masters level course which I hope to complete over the next few years.
Overall my most useful new skill is gaining the confidence in communication to discuss upsetting things with patients and their families.
Despite the Community team working on our own in people’s homes we don’t consider ourselves solo workers so the role is very much being part of a team.
However, there is still room for individualised approaches to each patient’s care plan. Each day is different and I love the feeling of not really knowing who I will meet each day.
I am proud to be a part of the whole St Luke’s team who are genuinely motivated to do the best for patients who have precious time to live and will pull out all the stops to get the patient and their families what they need.