ST. Luke’s Hospice is appealing for donations as nurses are celebrated this International Nurses Day (Thursday 12th May).
The charity, which has nurses working across many of its services, is joining the global day of recognition and showcasing the care and support its nurses provide.
The Hospice relies on donations to help them continue providing care for local people and their families. Its team is made up of different health and social care professionals, each contributing their expertise to provide specialist palliative and end of life care, unique to every person who accesses its support. Together, they provide care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Nurses at St. Luke’s Hospice work across the Hospice and out in the community, supporting people in their own homes and in care homes. As well as helping to manage someone’s physical symptoms, nurses also provide emotional support and comfort for people under their care and their loved ones.
Rachael Davis, Nursing Sister in the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit, shares her experience at St. Luke’s Hospice. She says:
“When I first trained to become a nurse, I was drawn to helping patients with cancer and their families. Many people seemed to find it difficult to support people who had a terminal diagnosis, almost frightened to look after patients who were dying. My mission was one day to change this and work for a hospice – to directly support people in a similar situation, to ensure they died with dignity. I’ve since worked at St. Luke’s Hospice from the day it opened and was there to welcome our very first patient.
“Many people think that the Hospice is a place where people come to die. Actually it’s a place people come to live. My colleagues and I help our patients do everyday things that others might take for granted when they don’t have time or are too poorly to do these themselves. It’s so often the little things that can be the most special, comforting and can enable them to live fuller lives, for however long that might be. We once brought Christmas forward to July for one of our patients so they could celebrate with their family. For other patients, we facilitated visits from their pets – including a Shetland pony – as they were as important to them as any other member of their family.
“My nursing colleagues and I are also very aware of looking after one another. We all face challenging situations on a day-to-day basis, so I encourage my team to explore and communicate how they feel so that I can best support them. I always make sure I thank the team at the end of their shift for what they’ve done. It’s so important to be thankful and grateful for one another to help us feel valued too.
“My favourite thing about working at the Hospice is making genuine connections with the people we support and doing the best we can for them and their family at the end of their life. It’s very humbling and I still feel the same after 31 years of working at St. Luke’s Hospice. As a nurse, I want to give people the time, information and support at one of the most challenging moments of their life so that they can spend that time feeling as best they can.
“In honour of International Nurses Day, I would like to give all my fellow nurses a message of gratitude. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work at the Hospice when it first opened, with a team of people who all share such a wonderful passion in caring for people with a life limiting illness. The fact I started right at the beginning and was there with the Hospice’s Co-Founder Trudy – who is still a friend to this day – makes me feel very proud indeed and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. All of the nurses I’ve worked with in my time here have contributed to this feeling so I’m very grateful and will be using International Nurses Day as an opportunity to celebrate everything we have achieved along the way.”
It’s thanks to the generosity of our local community that St. Luke’s Hospice is able to continue caring for local people and their families, including support from our nurses.
If you can, please donate to St. Luke’s Hospice. You can do so online today at www.stlukeshospice.com/nurses-day or contact a member of the Fundraising team on 01268 524973 or firstname.lastname@example.org.