28th May, 2018

Lead hospice nurse reveals life on the job for International Nurses Day

Sarah Mason 8th May, 2018 Updated: 16th May, 2018

BEING ready for anything is at the heart of what the Marie Curie nurses do on a day-to-day basis.

From setting up blood transfusions to organising finance sessions on the day therapy unit and even offering a shoulder to cry on and advice for patients and their friends and family there really is very little the nurses aren’t prepared for.

To celebrate International Nurses Day on Saturday (May 12) lead nurse at the Marsh Lane Hospice has lifted the lid on what life is really like for those on the front line.

“There are never two days the same working at the hospice but each day we strive to get it right for our patients and their families,” says Angela.

A typical day at the hospice starts with a hand over at 7am, which is when the night staff will report on all the events and patients overnight to the day staff.

The nurse will then introduce themselves to the patient given any medication and then their symptoms will be reviewed before this information is given to the doctor.

Angela said: “The nurses and doctors work very closely so that we can make sure everyone is informed on the patient’s condition.

“A nurse will be named as the nutritional lead for the day, so that they can supervise meal times and coordinate throughout the day to make sure the patient gets the food they need – we also try to cater to special requests, even if that might be chips and ice-cream.”

Throughout the morning there are a series of meetings about daily discharges and admissions as well as planning care packages for these patients.

Angela said: “As nurses we must be ready for any situation, as things can change at any time.

“Some people that come to the hospice might need dressings for a wound, blood transfusions, antibiotics, oxygen therapy or one-to-one nursing.

“We also control the patient’s pain and other symptoms with medication throughout the day.

“Sometimes patients and their loved ones might require emotional or psychological support, so our nurses must be sensitive, respectful and most importantly make time to lend a listening ear no matter the time of day.

“We also have a team of nurses that look after our Day Therapy Unit, which offers patients and their families things like education sessions on topics such as finances and exercise, complementary therapies and opportunities to meet other people in a similar situation.”

The night staff arrive for changeover of shifts at 7pm and as in the morning there is a handover meeting.

As the night draws in patients are made comfortable, given their supper and settle down for the night.

While the patients sleep, the hospice is still ticking away and the nurses will use this time to check over stock and emergency equipment.

They also give medication and reposition patients every two to four hours to avoid pressure ulcers developing where needed.

On top of all of this support offered to patients nurses also document all the patient care activity, assessments and evaluations on our electronic system so that it’s up to date.

They also offer a helping hand to families and friends emotionally during what is a very difficult time for them.

Angela added: “Our nurses work hard to make every minute count and treat our patients with dignity and respect, so on International Nurse’s Day we will be having a party at the hospice to say thank you to our incredible nurses for everything they do.”

For more visit www.mariecurie.org.uk

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