“On average, we will have covered 10 miles across the Hospice in a shift – almost as far as The Big Yin route for A Walk to Remember.”
In the run up to our brand new A Walk to Remember East Lothian event, we took some time out of the very busy diaries of two of our wonderful Auxiliary Nurses. We were amazed when we heard our nurses walk almost as far as our A Walk to Remember route every day, so we asked Angela and Kerry to describe a typical day in the life of a nurse for us. Read on to find what they get up to and what the most rewarding parts of their jobs are!
“We start at 7:15am with a handover from the Nightshift. We then walk the wards to see our patients – opening curtains, chatting with them and family who have stayed over, getting them comfortable and organising pain relief they may need. This is before breakfast, which we take round and serve. We leave them to eat, sometimes staying with patients who need extra assistance, before coming back to clear up – we also what they would like for the following day, or if they want to change that day’s lunch and dinner order. The kitchen are fab and help with last minute changes or requests!
Once breakfast is cleared we meet with the staff for a team huddle. We discuss patients needs and what level of help they require – some patients are very independent, whereas some may need a little or a lot of help throughout the day.
Now the wards start to get busy! We can have Doctors, O.T’s, and maybe Chaplaincy team speaking to patients. We also have patient’s family and friends coming and going, visits from our gorgeous Therapets (which we enjoy as much as the patients!) and occasionally visits from the media. We can also be handling patient admissions or discharges, so things can be a little busy!
Lunch is at 12:45 and again we serve patients, helping those needing additional support. Once lunch is cleared, it’s time for our afternoon cup of tea and catch up with the team. We update care plans for each patient to make sure we are supporting them in the best possible way.
We have a wide range of tasks to do each day such as cleaning patient’s rooms, putting fresh linen on their beds, re-stocking cupboards in their rooms and around the ward, emptying bins and answering patient buzzers.
We then serve dinner at 4:30 and are often extremely jealous of the delicious meals (especially the puddings!) our kitchen have prepared. After dinner has been cleared and the evening goes on, we start to ready patients for the night. We help them into their PJ’s, check pads or dressings, change the mood of their room – we can turn on a range of softer lighting – and close their curtains if they want.
We then clock off at 8:15 – a 13 hour shift.
Outside our daily tasks, we make as much time as possible to talk with our patients and their family and friends. We encourage them to bring in decorations, fairy lights, cards and photos for their room and encourage family and friends (and pets!) to visit. We like chatting with our patients about their memories and experiences – we find out a lot in a short space of time – as getting to know our patients can make a real difference to their time here.
The most rewarding part of our job here at St Columba’s Hospice is being able to spend time with our patients – we love them! We hope we are able to reassure them and their loved ones that they have come to a safe place. We want our patients to feel a part of the ward team and when we start getting a bit of cheek from them we know we’ve made a connection and that we’ve hopefully made a difference to their time here. We also feel privileged to be with our patients at the end of their lives and are glad we get the chance to say goodbye to someone we’ve looked after.
On average, we will have covered 10 miles across the Hospice in a shift – almost as far as The Big Yin route for A Walk to Remember. We are delighted that our supporters are doing something similar to raise money for the Hospice. It is so appreciated by everyone here! We know it will be a great day out for everyone, so if you haven’t already, sign up today!”
If you would like to take part in A Walk to Remember to support Angela, Kerry and all of our wonderful nurses, you can sign up today online! Visit our registration portal here to sign up, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.