Claire’s story

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"Nurses really make a difference, and that’s my favourite part about being one at St Clare. You can see the difference you are making."
Claire, Staff Nurse at St Claire

“I’m Claire, and I’m a staff nurse working for the St Clare Day Therapy team. I have been with the Day Therapy team for 4 years and before that I worked as a nurse on the Inpatient Unit at St Clare for 10 years.”

“It was quite a big transition for me, moving from the Inpatient Unit to Day Therapy. Now, I see people at a much earlier stage, so it’s a different sort of nursing. Both types are of course monumentally important, but at Day Therapy you can get in earlier and help the patients at a different stage in their lives.”

“All round, working as a nurse in a hospice is so different to other nursing roles.”

“I know that from my experience of working on an oncology ward as a healthcare assistant. Although we do medical things in a hospice, too, palliative care is about focusing on the whole of the person – as well as their condition.”

“We care for people on many different levels, including: physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

“It’s that holistic care that I find very rewarding – looking at the whole person. Although as a nurse you are aware that a patient is unwell, you are able to learn what makes them, them.”

“The care we provide here at St Clare is all about the person you are working with, and finding out what is going to work for them.”

“Nurses really make a difference, and that’s my favourite part about being one: you can see the difference you are making. You also learn something new every day, and your learning is continuous, with things around you changing all the time. There are always things to learn. As a nurse, you pick up lots of different skills as you go along.”

“Yet, there are challenges. Being a palliative care nurse can be difficult because you are dealing with the emotional side of it as part of your daily role.”

“When things become difficult, we nurses have got each other – we talk to and support one and other so that we are able to take care of ourselves, too.”

“Personally, at the end of the day, I like to unwind and have some me-time! I’m trying to exercise more as it’s supposed to make you feel more relaxed and happy. I also never watch hospital programmes, and I never read anything about hospitals! When I shut that door at work, it stays closed at home. I like to keep things light!”

“But palliative care is what I have always wanted to do – nothing has drawn me away from it and I know it’s what I am meant for.”

“Whilst working at St Clare, I’ve also met my hero – it has to be Dr Qamar Abbas!”

“He totally knows his stuff, and you can always go to him and talk things over when you need to. He loves teaching, and he will discuss anything with you that you’re not sure of, and be happy to. He is a total hero.”

– Claire

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