Lynne van der Merwe


1. What is your name?
Lynne van der Merwe

2. Which hospice do you work for?
Hospice Wits

3. What do you do there?
Senior R/N IPU

4. How long have you been there?
Almost 4 years


1. Why did you decide to focus on palliative care?
I have always been drawn to assisting patients who are dying and their families, whereas others avoided them.

2. What gives you the greatest fulfilment?
When the loved one of the patients is grateful for the quality of care and companion shown.

3. What do you find the most challenging?

4. What do you think people find the most challenging about a life-threatening diagnosis?
The thought that they will have to leave their families and life on earth behind them.

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

6. How do you take care of your own health and balance?
I separate work from home and get enough rest.

7. What is your advice to anyone else wishing to join your profession?
You just must do this kind of work, as some nurses can’t do it.

8. What is your advice to anyone given a life-threatening diagnosis?
Look carefully at your options and reasons for choosing that path. Get your affairs in order.

9. What is your advice to the loved ones of anyone who is given a life-threatening diagnosis?
Let the loved one lead the way. It is their journey, be supportive but allow them to choose the way.

10. How do your loved ones feel about the work that you do?
They think I do good work.

11. What do you like the most about the hospice that you work with?
The atmosphere, the joint compassion of the team and the willingness to help others.

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