Hospice at Home Anniversary – Lorraine’s Story

Hospice at Home nursing assistants and patient
Published on: Wednesday 08 Feb 2017 at 10:14

Hospice at Home Nursing Assistant, Lorraine, looks back on 3 years with the team…

Our Hospice at Home service launched in January 2014 and provides expert care to our patients in the comfort of their own homes – allowing them to spend precious time with their families in the place of their choice.

St Clare Hospice at Home Nursing Assistant, Lorraine Mosley, has been with the team since day one. Lorraine told us all about the role of a Hospice at Home Nursing Assistant and what a privilege it is to be able to care for people in their own home.

Q. What does your role as a Nursing Assistant involve?

“We go out to care for patients in the community in their homes, their preferred place of care. We support not only the patient but their family and loved ones as well, in their times of distress and anxiety. We also liaise with our team leaders if we have any concerns whilst we are out with the patients and we’ve got a team of Clinical Nurse Specialists who we can refer to if we need to.”

Q. How do you support the families?

“Supporting the families may just mean that we need to have a chat with them – they can be very upset about what is going on, so we support them in whatever way they need us. Sometimes it’s just a chat, and sometimes you just put your arms round their shoulder and give them a hug if they need it. For the patients themselves, we go out and offer them personal care if they want it. Again, sometimes it’s just a case of chatting through their concerns with them and trying to allay any fears and just generally being there for them.”

Q. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

“I think actually being able to spend time with our patients, getting to know them personally, and having that time to spend with them, is the most rewarding thing. You never know when you go into a patient’s home how they are going to be, they could be on a downwards spiral and really poorly, or they may be having a really good day and be chatty and upbeat about everything. So it’s difficult at times, but it is definitely rewarding.”

Q. What difference does being at home make to patients?

“When someone’s in hospital, you know they always feel better when they know they’re going home. And when they are in their own home environment, we find that patients feel more comfortable. They have got everything around them that they want. It’s familiar surroundings and the family are there. I think in general, being at home makes them feel a more at ease when things are getting more difficult. Home is special, so it’s special for them to be there.”

Q. What happens when you go to a patient for the first time?

“Firstly we introduce ourselves and talk a little bit about the Hospice at Home service. On the first visit we just have a general chat and then it’s up to them if they feel they want us to come back. Sometimes they have a misconception about hospice care and the services, but once we have explained everything we can usually allay any of their fears. Sometimes it takes us a little while to gain their trust, but once we have been in a couple of times they are usually really pleased to see us. We build up a rapport with them and they are grateful that we are in their homes and helping when it’s necessary.”

Q. What has been your best moment at St Clare?

“It was on a home visit to a patient who was dying. It was very peaceful, and a bit surreal, in the house. Me and one of my colleagues were present when the patient died but it was an absolute, if I can say it, a really lovely death. The family were an Irish family and they sang  and they all said how much they loved their dad. It wasn’t a sad occasion, they were celebrating his life and reminiscing, and playing music that he and his wife used to dance to. They all remembered absolutely wonderful times. It was a privilege to be there at such a special time, to think that they had allowed us to stay with them when it was the end of his life. That moment really sticks in my mind.”

Q. How would you describe St Clare?

“St Clare is a great place. I’ve had personal experience of St Clare when my brother came into the Inpatient Unit and that made me decide that working at the hospice was definitely something that I wanted to do. The care was unbelievable when he was in here, and I know the care continues to be amazing.  To work for St Clare is a privilege, and I feel privileged to be part of people’s lives. My family were looked after incredibly in a really distressing time, and I just felt that if I could do that for someone else then that just makes it all worthwhile.”

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