1. What is your name?
2. Which hospice do you work for?
St Francis Hospice
3. What do you do there?
Manager and Nursing Sister
4. How long have you been there?
1. Why did you decide to focus on palliative care?
It was not really a decision. I was working at the local hospital and was offered a chance for an interview for a vacant post at our local Hospice. Although it was not a conscious choice at the time it was the best career move I have ever made.
2. What gives you the greatest fulfilment?
Bringing emotional and spiritual comfort and hope to patients and their loved ones. Seeing my work makes a real difference at an incredibly hard time in people’s lives. Pain and symptom relief.
3. What do you find the most challenging?
The lack of any support from our state institutions. Not enough hours in the day. Writing reports by hand!
4. What do you think people find the most challenging about a life-threatening diagnosis?
Not being able to fulfil all the hopes and dreams they had. Knowing time with loved ones is limited. Fear of death and how it will feel. Being a burden to others. Financial worries for remaining family.
5. What do you think that you personally bring to your job that reflects who you are as a person?
Empathy for my patients and their family. Going the extra mile to make life more bearable.
6. How do you take care of your own health and balance?
I have still not really mastered this, as I don’t seem to have much time to myself, but I cycle, enjoy beach walks, read and spend time with my husband, family and friends.
7. What is your advice to anyone else wishing to join your profession?
Know that it will stretch you beyond what you ever thought was possible but it is also the most fulfilling profession in the world! Don’t do it unless you are going to be totally committed.
8. What is your advice to anyone given a life-threatening diagnosis?
Enjoy each day as much as possible. Spend time with loved ones. Be honest and open with your loved ones about your feelings and fears, pretending causes great stress for everyone. Draw close to God. Get all your affairs in order.
9. What is your advice to the loved ones of anyone who is given a life-threatening diagnosis?
Don’t pretend that there is nothing wrong, be honest with each other. Take good care of yourself and give yourself some time out. Ask for help! Contact Hospice when you are not sure. Trust in God.
10. How do your loved ones feel about the work that you do?
My husband knows how much I love my job, but he gets frustrated by the hours I work and by the fact that I spend so much time thinking about my patients.
11. What do you like the most about the hospice that you work with?
The most fantastic team of hardworking committed individuals who are real, kind and not given to gossip and lies. Excellent support from head office and fair treatment. Appreciation from management.
12. Do you have a “motto” that you tend to live by that you would like to share?
Put myself in my patient’s shoes and then know His Grace is sufficient and. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.