Constance Bekwa


 1. What is your name?

Constance Bekwa

2. Which hospice do you work for?

St Bernard’s Hospice

3. What do you do there?

I am a Professional Nurse for Home Based palliative Care and Support.

4. How long have you been there?

8 years


1. Why did you decide to focus on palliative care?

To prevent or treat the symptoms and side effects of the disease and its treatment in addition to any related psychological, social and spiritual problems.

2. What gives you the greatest fulfilment?

The approach of caring that addresses the person as a whole and not just their disease.

3. What do you find the most challenging?

  • Patients not supported by family.
  • No in–patient unit for patients who are terminal.

4. What do you think people find the most challenging about a life-threatening diagnosis?

  • Being in denial.
  • Having anxiety and anger.
  • Deciding whether to treat or not to treat

5. What do you think that you personally bring to your job that reflects who you are as a person?

  • Being passionate about my job.
  • No negative reports from family members and patients.
  • Educate families about basic nursing care, pain management, control of symptoms and emotional support so that care is ongoing even when care staff is not visiting.

6. How do you take care of your own health and balance?

  • Always wear PPE.
  • Sleep well.
  • Have appointments with a psychologist when necessary.

7. What is your advice to anyone else wishing to join your profession?

  • To be passionate, because the job is emotionally draining.
  • Working as a multi–disciplinary team.
  • Networking with other stakeholders.

8. What is your advice to anyone given a life-threatening diagnosis?

  • To accept what cannot be changed.
  • To do family counselling.
  • Transparency – the patient must be informed about their diagnosis.

9. What is your advice to the loved ones of anyone who is given a life-threatening diagnosis?

  • The patient and their family need a wide range of emotional, social and spiritual support.
  • Patients must be encouraged to see to their financial business.
  • A will must be drawn up.

10. How do your loved ones feel about the work that you do?

Loved ones mostly think you can be emotionally affected because you are mostly dealing with death and dying.

11. What do you like the most about the hospice that you work with?

  • Team Work
  • Internal and external referrals
  • Having medical equipment which can be lent to patients
  • Good networking system with other LBO’s and stakeholders

12. Do you have a “motto” that you tend to live by that you would like to share?

All patients must be respected and dignity maintained.