What does working in hospice care at Sue Ryder mean to you?

10 Oct 2022

As part of this year’s #HospiceCareWeek, we asked seven staff members about their experiences of being there when it matters for our patients and the people supporting them. Here’s what they said.

It’s being part of a team

“My mum died at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice two and half years ago and when I used to visit her there, I would think to myself - wow - this is such an amazing place. It was these visits that started my interest in working in palliative care

“Everyone is so focused on the individual patient, supporting them and their families, and whilst none of us can change their situation, we hope that we can make their last days or weeks, just that little bit easier. Every staff member, whatever their role, is fantastic and I am so pleased I made the decision to join them.”

It’s connecting with patients

“I volunteered on the inpatient unit for 25 years and I now support the day services sessions that take place at the hospice on Thursdays and Fridays. I love talking to each patient as they come in and encourage them to talk or work on a project. Most of my memories are of Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice and I think it is a special place to volunteer.”

It’s improving lives

“It’s such a privilege and honour to support someone at the end of their life and for their family to let you in at what is a very difficult time. Often people don’t know what role a physiotherapist plays in palliative care, but being able to make small changes or suggestions that leads to an improvement in symptoms, or helps a patient to achieve something they want to do, really does make all the difference.”

It’s sharing hope and courage

“Working in palliative care is really enriching and I am able to spend the quality time with patients that I want to. A lot of people with a life-limiting illness have questions about death and dying and I try to communicate hope, help them come to terms with what is happening and help them to build courage. 

“This role gives me the opportunity to support people when they need it most and be fulfilled by doing something I really like to do.”

It’s being what someone needs

“Working at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, I see first-hand what our multidisciplinary teams do for patients and families. It is a real privilege to care for patients and families at such a private and sensitive time. I have heard so many patients and families say if only they had known about the care we give sooner. They are surprised by the happiness, the calmness and the many different services we offer.”

It’s making a difference

“In palliative care, we can make such a difference to a person’s life and death. We all strive to have a good life, but we should also be able to have a good death. With the extra time and care we can make such a difference to the quality and dignity of someone who is entering the end of their life, and it can make all the difference to them and their family. It is quite an honour to be able to help a person and help their relatives at this time of their lives.”

It’s a privilege

“As a midwife I always thought it was a pleasure and a privilege to be there at the beginning of life. But, later in my career, I realised that it was also a privilege to be there for someone at the end of their life too.”

Thank you to the staff members who shared their experiences about being there when it matters for our patients and the people supporting them.

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