Nosipiwo Somi


 1. What is your name?

Nosipiwo Somi

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?

3 Months.


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

To support patients and families when they are faced with terminal illness and death.

2. What gives you the greatest fulfilment?

To see the patient die comfortably and in a supportive environment.

3. What do you find the most challenging?

Witnessing the pain felt by the patient and not being able to do anything about it at times. Depression faced by the patient and what to say to help them face the fear of death and of pain.

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

Sometimes the families are in denial that their loved ones are dying. They are guilty of not having done enough for them. There is anger at why they are the one facing this situation.

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

  • I bring love and care.
  • I support the patient and family by giving them information, education and training them on how to support their loved ones.
  • I provide pain relief through medication and other complementary therapies like relaxation methods, massages, and music therapy.
  • I also provide emotional support, spiritual guidance and assist by referring them to other team members, e.g. social workers and spiritual leaders.

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

  • I pray
  • Exercise
  • Eat and drink well
  • Sleep well

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

  • Learn about palliative care in order to provide better service quality care;
  • Take care of yourself by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.
  • Do not take things personally.

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

  • Ask your doctor questions relating to your diagnosis.
  • Allow yourself to feel pain and grief as you process the news.
  • Bring someone with to your appointments to listen, ask more questions and write down information.

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

  • Inform them that they are not alone, provide them with information of supportive places they can be supported, e.g. social worker, spiritual leader etc.
  • Improve your relationship with your loved one and be there for them.

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

They are supportive and feel happy that I am contributing to people’s lives, by supporting them during difficult times in their lives.

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

  • There is team support especially as I am new and still learning.
  • We have team meetings weekly.
  • The care givers are well trained and are good at what they do.
  • There is information available about palliative care.

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

“Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12)