Inside the world of a Day Hospice nurse

EVER wondered what it is like to work in a hospice environment? Ineke Parrott, one of the day hospice nurses at Grove House, the St Albans day hospice, explained what she does every day and why she loves her job. She said: I work as one of the Day Hospic

EVER wondered what it is like to work in a hospice environment?

Ineke Parrott, one of the day hospice nurses at Grove House, the St Albans day hospice, explained what she does every day and why she loves her job.

She said: "I work as one of the Day Hospice team reporting to our head of nursing services, Joan Follett. There are five of us in the team and we have established a close and professional working relationship over the years and most importantly we enjoy working with each other.

"The day hospice is open four days a week, Tuesday to Friday, and up to 16 patients attend each day. Patients come on the same day each week and one of the benefits is that they make many friendships.


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"Free transport is offered to all and patients can come in either by car or minibus driven by volunteer drivers. This is important for those who cannot come in by themselves and for others it takes away the worry of driving or having to use public transport."

Ineke went on: "The day itself is very well planned so that everything runs smoothly in order for the patients to enjoy themselves in a relaxed and caring atmosphere and they are able to get the most out of the support available. Each day before the patients arrive we have a team meeting where we discuss each patient and their individual needs.

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"We very much take a team approach so that each of us get to know every patient and can plan for their specific care needs during the day. This care also includes those patients who are unwell and are unable to attend on their day. We phone them or their family and make sure their needs are covered and will ask the GP to visit if appropriate."

She explained: "Patients often describe Day Hospice as being a community and we take this as a big compliment. Providing a very caring and supportive environment it enables the patients to get to know and trust us nurses and to talk to us about anything they want to.

"We assess the patients each time they come in and we support them both physically and emotionally. We can give advice about pain or other symptoms, take blood samples, change dressings and we often liaise with the GP and other Health Care Professionals - but maybe more importantly we have time to listen and talk.

"In the Day Hospice the focus is definitely on living, quality of life and what people can do rather than what they cannot do. Apart from the weekly nurse assessments we provide exercise and relaxation classes and offer complementary therapy and creative activities - all of which helps improve the general feeling of well being. There is a lot of energy and laughter each day and it never fails to amaze me how the patients are so supportive of each other."

She added: "I love my role at Grove House; I cannot imagine doing anything else. We have a personal relationship with every patient and it is the most rewarding thing in the world to see them leaving us at the end of the day feeling so much better.

"I feel it is a real privilege to be part of their journey in life!

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