Sue Ryder Nurse Cecilia Mwenda joined the team at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe in March last year. She talks about the importance of building relationships with the people she cares for and the more personal support this allows her to provide, as well as the challenges they have faced at Stagenhoe throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
I worked in a hospital, in a short stay ward, before coming to Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe in March 2020. It was a mixed ward and I looked after a wide range of patients. Being a short term ward it was incredibly busy and this meant that I was not able to spend the amount of time that I wanted to with each patient.
Working at Stagenhoe, I have more time to spend with the people that I look after and that means I feel that I am able to give the quality of care each of them deserves. Being able to spend time with each person I care for and to develop a good relationship with them is crucial.
“Being able to spend time with each person I care for and to develop a good relationship with them is crucial”
As I go round the centre and do my shift I know that I have time to not just do the essentials such as handing out medication, I also have time to stop and have a chat. It all makes a difference. At the end of each shift I feel like I’ve done my job the best I can and that gives me a real sense of satisfaction.
It is an interesting and varied job and no two shifts are the same. I work night shifts, so after I have the handover with the day team we do the medication round. Then throughout the night I check-in regularly with everyone I am looking after to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.
“At the end of each shift I feel like I’ve done my job the best I can and that gives me a real sense of satisfaction”
There have been a few challenges that we have had to overcome this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. There were times that we were short staffed but everyone stepped up and helped to cover shifts whenever necessary. It has been a challenge also to make sure we were balancing everything with our lives outside of the centre but that has gone well. Another huge difference was the fact that visiting has been so restricted, so I am always sensitive about this when speaking to the people in the centre.
When I’m not at work I like walking outside and getting some fresh air, I always feel good after a walk. My faith is also very important to me and it helps me to stay positive and to encourage others to stay positive, which has been very useful this year. I enjoy working at Stagenhoe. Everyone has really pulled together as a team and supported each other during a challenging few months.
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