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, Kim Donaldson writes about her role as the Hospice’s practice development facilitator.
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 for?
I have worked at the Hospice for just a little over 20 years, I started as a staff nurse in the inpatient unit on 1 January 1997. My intention was to stay for a year to gain experience in palliative care and then apply for a job in the community. I soon realised I had found my niche and didn’t want to leave. St Columba’s Hospice has offered me so many opportunities to grow and develop both professionally and personally and for that I am really grateful.
Tell us about your role as a practice development facilitator at the Hospice
Practice development is diverse, engaging and challenging. No two days are ever the same and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a practice development facilitator, my work centres on taking projects forward, so it is less about formal classroom teaching but more about working with people and teams. Some of the core values of practice development are collaboration, inclusion and participation – all of which are vital to the successful implementation of new or changing initiatives. My role requires me to work alongside all Hospice teams and that is such a privilege.
How does your role help patients and families?
Everything about my job is about supporting and facilitating others to support patients and families in our care. Whether it is working on projects like the roll-out of our electronic notes to co-facilitating the person-centred care project, the focus is always on ensuring our care is and remains person-centred. The person-centred care project has involved finding out what person-centredness means to everyone within our Hospice community – patients, families, visitors, staff and volunteers. This far reaching project has been transformational for me as a person and a professional.
What would surprise people about your role?
One element of my job as the practice development facilitator requires me to facilitate interactive communication skills workshops. These workshops are hard going for participants as they are invited to stretch themselves and skills rehearse a particular communication skill or scenario which they find difficult. We do not call it role play as the participants do not play a role – they are asked rehearse a skill as themselves – however the facilitators often have to take on the role of a patient or family member, which requires adept acting skills, I have been told that if I ever need a another job that I could apply for EastEnders!
What is it like working at the Hospice?
I think the fact that I have stayed here for 20 years shows how much I enjoy working at the Hospice. I have seen many changes in that time and I think that’s what makes it such an interesting place to work. I am proud to say that I work here.
What do you like doing in your own time?
I think working in a palliative care environment makes you appreciate your friends and family so spending time with them is really important to me. However I am really happy when it’s just me and Tammy, my 1 year old Australian labradoodle, out walking in the mornings along the river Avon, just outside Linlithgow. I also have an allotment which keeps me really busy, active and up to my eyeballs in muck! Lastly those who know me well would also be shouting that I enjoy a glass or two of nice wine.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
In March I traveled to India with the community palliative care team leader, Lorraine Wilson, to offer support, education and mentorship to hospital and community based palliative care initiatives. It was an amazing opportunity to share knowledge and skills, and to find out about what is happening within the teams over there.