Published on: Friday 11 Nov 2022 at 17:32
Dawn Power joined St Clare as the Inpatient Unit manager in 2022. Here she talks about her career and how she always knew she’d work at St Clare in the end.
How long have you been a nurse and why did you go into nursing?
I qualified in 2004 when I was 37. I started my working life as in a chartered accountants but after my children were born, I decided to have a change of career and go into nursing. As a child, I had a great aunt who was a nurse and out of all her nieces, I was the one she said should go into nursing! I have worked in Princess Alexandra Hospital since I qualified, the last 18 years in A&E.
Why did you join St Clare Hospice?
It was something that was a long time coming but it was almost as if it was meant to be. Palliative care was my favourite placement when I was a student nurse but at that time, I thought it might be a sad place to work. Now 18 years later, I know how uplifting it can be. I get enormous job satisfaction helping someone have a peaceful death with the people they love around them. That is what gives you the resilience to work in a hospice. That is perfect job satisfaction.
Working in A&E during Covid-19 was a wake up call for me. There was no known effective treatment during the first wave. We were all learning. There was no knowledge about how to care for the people who came into A&E. We knew so many of them were going to die and that was awful. We used our personal mobile phones to help them make last FaceTime calls to loved ones, and those experiences stayed with me. That experience of end of life care was something I wanted to change.
I always thought one day I’d end up working at St Clare. I’ve lived in Harlow for many years. St Clare is my local hospice. When I used to drive past, I thought ‘one day, I’ll work there’. I applied for some bank work to test out how it might be to work in the hospice without leaving the NHS completely. When I applied, I was asked if I’d consider applying for the Inpatient Unit Manager’s position. I started doing my research and I was blown away by all the services St Clare offer.
What do you want everyone to know most about St Clare?
The wide ranging services that St Clare offers. Many people don’t know about the extensive Patient and Family Support Service here. They don’t know about the GriefLine, the Bereavement Cafes, the effort that goes into raising the money St Clare needs by the fundraising team, the number of volunteers. It is just incredible!
What are the best things about working at St Clare?
I have three! My absolute favourite thing is the nurses on the Inpatient Unit. They really care and support each other. They are an amazing team, and the care they deliver to their patients is outstanding. Then there is the support I have had from everyone here at St Clare. Not just my close colleagues but across the hospice, and lastly… the car park! After coming from the NHS where you struggle to park and pay for your parking, driving in each morning, knowing you have a free space is amazing!
If you would like to join our team here at St Clare, you can see all the career opportunities here: