“My apprenticeship is helping me support the team” Lydia's learning and career journey in palliative care with Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder Nursing Team Leader, Lydia, who is studying for a Level 3 qualification in Team Leader Management, takes us through her learning journey and career in palliative care with Sue Ryder. She shines a light on how rewarding end of life care is, the difference it makes to patients and their families, and the amazing support she's received during her apprenticeship.

Lydia, a Sue Ryder Nurse who is currently doing her apprenticeship
Lydia: “What I love most is that I can apply what I am learning directly to my role.”

Investing in the nurses of the future

At Sue Ryder we’re passionate about investing in the learning and development of nurses of the future, helping them to develop specialist skills in palliative care and fulfil their potential while helping to deliver our ambition to provide more care for more people.

Through on site education, structured external learning opportunities and apprenticeship opportunities there’s qualifications available at all levels to support your personal development, whatever your role and level.

Below, Lydia tells us her story, in the hope that others will be inspired to start their career in palliative care with Sue Ryder.

Being supported to lead a strong team

“I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 2016 and I’ve been with Sue Ryder for five years, after previously having experience with another hospice.

“I started at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice as a Staff Nurse and progressed into a Senior Staff Nurse role two years later. At the start of 2021, I took up the Nursing Team Leader role.

“Throughout, I have had a lot of support from my team and I’ve found how much I enjoy the leadership and team work aspect of nursing. Our unit is a strong unit; everyone is so supportive of each other. It’s really nice to have the opportunity to lead such a strong team.”

Being the best manager I can be to support the team

After enjoying the leadership aspect of her role so much, when Lydia heard Sue Ryder was offering apprenticeships to receive a Level 3 Qualification in Team Leader Management from the Institute of Leadership and Management, she applied.

“I started the apprenticeship in November 2020 and it’s a year-long course. The course focuses on learning communication in management, different leadership style, performance management and coaching. We’re also learning about how to deliver change in the workplace.

“What I love most about doing an apprenticeship is that I can apply what I am learning directly to my role to help me be the best manager and leader that I can be to support the team. I’ve really enjoyed the coaching and supporting aspects of the course too.  

“It has been a really challenging time for everyone during the pandemic and one of the biggest takeaways for me from the apprenticeship is how vital good communication and good support are. It’s helping me to continue to support the team through the pandemic and out to the other side.”

There when it matters

When you join Sue Ryder, you join a supportive team which is there for people when it matters and there for each other, too.

Lydia adds, “As a Sue Ryder Nurse you receive so much support. My Ward Manager’s door is always open. She is a great support and her communication skills are fabulous. We also have regular clinical supervision sessions and we hold ‘time for tea’ group reflection sessions too.

“It’s such a strong team and we have such a strong bond with each other. We are there for each other.”

Pursuing a career in palliative care with Sue Ryder

Lydia hopes by sharing her experience of working at Sue Ryder more people will find out more about pursuing a career in palliative care with the charity.

“At Sue Ryder we go the extra mile for people,” Lydia adds. “We specialise in symptom management and holistic care, and while the patient is always at the centre of everything we do, supporting patients’ families is a big part of our role too.

“There is so much planning and so much time that goes into coming into this world, but planning for the end of people’s lives is just as important. Having those plans, having those difficult conversations, can make the end of life process so much easier.

“As a Sue Ryder Nurse, we sit down and support people on a one to one basis. We listen to their wishes, we build trust and we build support to help people put those plans in place.

“At times communication can be difficult with families at the end of life as there is so much emotion involved, but we can be a bridge. We can be a support to facilitate conversations about end of life.”

Much more than end of life care

Lydia is keen to share there is more to working with Sue Ryder than providing palliative care too.

“Working at Sue Ryder is so much more than end of life care; we provide expert symptom management – helping people keep their symptoms under control so they can carry on living with their terminal illness.

“We help people better manage their nausea, their pain or their fatigue so they can carry on living and that is immensely rewarding.”

Palliative care is a privilege

“At the end of the day, if I can walk away knowing that a patient is comfortable and we have provided them with as much dignity as possible, then I know we have done the best we can.

“Working in palliative care is an absolute privilege.”

There has never been a more important time to provide high quality, specialist palliative care. 

Whether you're looking to make the next big step in your career or you're keen to enter a new stage of your professional development, working at Sue Ryder you’re given the time to care and the opportunity to learn and develop. You’ll be part of a multidisciplinary team working in one of the most rewarding areas of nursing.

Being there when it matters, helping people live the best lives they possibly can.

A career in palliative care with Sue Ryder

If Lydia's story has inspired you to consider a career in palliative care, we have more information, advice and our latest nursing opportunities to help you get started. If you want more than just a job, we want you.