Throughout 2017 members of staff from across the Hospice are writing blogs about their roles and how they help to support patients and families.
In this edition, Sharon writes about her role as an auxiliary nurse on the Pentland Ward.
Click here to read blogs from other members of staff from fundraising, stewards, chief executive, domestic staff and more!
How long have you worked at the Hospice?
I have worked at St Columba’s for 17 years in total, having started as a bank auxiliary nurse for two years, I was then offered a permanent job and here we are 17 years on!
Tell us about your role as an auxiliary nurse at the Hospice
In my role as auxiliary nurse, I help and assist my colleagues to care and look after the patients and their families. I carry out care tasks, working as part of a team under the supervision of a staff nurse or other members of the management team. I also assist and help to feed the patients who are unable to feed themselves; bed wash, shower or assist patients who would like a long relaxing soak in the Jacuzzi bath. I also provide patients with care for their skin and their mouth, which can be vital in helping people to eat and drink properly. Part of my role is also to communicate daily with the patients and their family members, assisting with all clinical duties and promoting positive mental and nutritional health with patients.
How does your role help patients and families?
All of the auxiliary nurses spend all our time with the patients so we get lots of relevant information from them by chatting and interacting. We constantly listen to the patients and families and always respect their decisions. The Hospice has a can do attitude and we will always try to accommodate as much as possible, so patients can live life as much as they can.
What would surprise people about being an auxiliary nurse?
This may surprise some people to know that as well as being an auxiliary nurse, I am also a Moving and Handling Ergo Coach. This means I can assess and train clinical staff in the ward area in the safe practice of moving and handling of patients and equipment, as well as identifying areas of concerns or risks. All staff must be trained and assessed to use all our equipment, they must also know about the moving and handling policies before being allowed to use any equipment. It is all to ensure that people in our care are safe when they are moving around.
What is it like working at the Hospice?
Working at the Hospice is a privilege and not just a job. We never have two days the same, as things change minute by minute. I enjoy building a relationship with patients, families, staff and volunteers. Our building makes it a great place to work as everything is new and modern. It can also be a happy and sad place to work.
What do you like doing in your own time?
In my spare time, I love to walk my two Westie dogs, Jasper and Kenzie. I love the sun so my two main holidays are spent in Crete in May with family and somewhere hot in September with my husband just to relax. I also do jigsaws online and finally I love to tap dance.