1. What is your name?
Nurses of SLCH
2. Which hospice do you work for?
St Luke’s Combined Hospices (SLCH)
3. What do you do there?
We are nurse & carers
4. How long have you been there?
We have been working at St Luke’s Hospice anywhere from 2.5 years to 20 years
1. Why did you decide to focus on palliative care?
We all had always had an interest in palliative care. Personal experience with family and friends also helped to decide on this path so we could help them to into quality of life.
2. What gives you the greatest fulfilment?
Seeing patients that are in agony and after spending time with them, we see the change in their attitude and perspective of life. We are also able to relate to what they are going through due to previous patients we have cared for.
3. What do you find the most challenging?
Not being able to assist someone due to lack of capacity and resources especially being an NGO and even more so with the pandemic.
4. What do you think people find the most challenging about a life-threatening diagnosis?
Families who feel helpless and question the assistance they are giving the patient on whether they are doing it right or wrong. The fear of losing the person is also heart-breaking for the family.
5. What do you think that you personally bring to your job that reflects who you are as a person?
They see the passion in the work we do and how much care we have for the patients. The desire to want to help our patients.
6. How do you take care of your own health and balance?
It is difficult at first, but the support of our families, the team, and mentors helps a great deal. It is also important not to bring the emotions of patient’s home. Switching off for an hour or two and finding a hobby that helps you switch off.
7. What is your advice to anyone else wishing to join your profession?
You must have a passion for people. Be comfortable with death be able to walk the journey with the patient and their family. Always be upfront and honest when counselling family and patients.
8. What is your advice to anyone given a life-threatening diagnosis?
That their circumstances cannot change. Live their life as best as they can. Enjoy life; do not be afraid of their diagnosis.
9. What is your advice to the loved ones of anyone who is given a life-threatening diagnosis?
Be empathetic not sympathetic to the patient not the diagnosis. The patient remains, diagnosis does not change who they are.
10. How do your loved ones feel about the work that you do?
Families are very supportive and admire the work we do. They are proud of the work we do.
11. What do you like the most about the hospice that you work with?
We are extended family. It’s a friendly environment and we miss the hugs.
12. Do you have a “motto” that you tend to live by that you would like to share?
“Live today as though it’s your first day on earth and live as if it’s your last day on earth. God loves us all. We take our patients to a mirror and let them repeat it over and over. “Enjoy your day the best way you can because tomorrow is not promised.”