More about working in palliative care

Thinking of joining us to be there when it matters? Here are the top five most frequently asked questions from people joining our expert and compassionate palliative care teams, and more about the support you can expect from Sue Ryder.

Two Sue Ryder nurses helping a patient to stand up
Male and female Sue Ryder Nurses in PPE
A Sue Ryder Nurse comforting a patient at their bedside
A Sue Ryder Nurse and Doctor talking, wearing PPE

Top five things to expect when working in palliative care at Sue Ryder

Will I learn new skills working in palliative care?

In palliative care no day is the same. It’s a very unique nursing role because we care for patients with such a variety of conditions and symptoms. If you’d like to develop your knowledge of many different conditions and the impact this has on patients and their families a role in palliative care with Sue Ryder is for you.

We do all we can to personalise people’s care so that their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs are met, so when you join Sue Ryder you’ll be joining a multidisciplinary team of specialists who are all experts in their fields, working together to deliver holistic care to patients.

Every day, you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside our Sue Ryder occupational therapists, physiotherapists, complementary therapists, family support team, spiritual support and palliative care consultants, learning new skills and sharing and gaining knowledge.

Why not take a look at some of our staff stories to find out more about what to expect when working as a Sue Ryder Nurse. Or you can watch our video showing what it's like to work in palliative care with Sue Ryder.

If you still have questions, we’d love to arrange for you to speak with one of our Sue Ryder Nurses, who can tell you more about working with us. Email recruitment@sueryder.org and we’ll organise this for you.

What development opportunities are there at Sue Ryder?

At Sue Ryder we’re passionate about investing in the learning and development of our colleagues, helping them to fulfil their potential and deliver our ambition to provide more care for more people. 

We offer a wide range of learning and development opportunities, including courses, apprenticeships and dedicated training with our on-site practice educator, helping you to develop specialist skills in palliative care.

We’re proud to have healthcare colleagues join us as newly qualified nurses to pursue a career in palliative care who now hold managerial positions in our centres.

In palliative care you deal with death, dying and bereavement. What clinical supervision and support do you offer staff?

If you’re coming into palliative care for the first time, perhaps from a setting where you are not always encouraged to discuss the emotional impact of caring for someone who is dying, be reassured that at Sue Ryder emotional support of our staff is a top priority.

We offer regular clinical supervision meetings for our staff, morbidity meetings and all our hospices have on site family support teams, who as well as providing emotional and psychological support to families in our care, support our staff to. 

At Sue Ryder not only will you will be part of a team who are there when it matters for our patients and our families, but you’ll be part of a supportive team who are there for each other when it matters too.

Something that we often hear from colleagues who have not worked in palliative care before coming to Sue Ryder is that they are surprised to find that palliative care is a happy and rewarding area to work in. Our staff tell us that they feel privileged to be a part of people’s lives at such a difficult time.

End of life care can also be a hard area to work in, however, and at times it can be emotionally exhausting. We are committed to having firm support systems in place to make sure our palliative care teams receive the support they need to keep caring.

As a charity what happens if you don’t get the funding you need to carry on providing your services?

The entire hospice sector in the UK is charity led, funded through a combination of statutory funding and fundraising by supporters. Sue Ryder is no exception.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the charity sector but Sue Ryder has been working hard to raise enough money to help see us through, thanks to tremendous support by the public and our supporters.

We’ve been campaigning to raise awareness of what would happen should the hospice sector experience funding shortfalls in the long term and continue to work closely with Hospice UK to secure additional government funding for the entire hospice sector.

There has never been a more important time to join Sue Ryder to provide high quality, specialist palliative care to support patients and their families. Our care is needed now more than ever, and many of our services are expanding as palliative care needs continue to rise.

When you join Sue Ryder, you’ll become a valuable member of our team and an ambassador for what we do. Our healthcare colleagues become passionate advocates for fundraising, often supporting each other and the local community in their fundraising activities, from treks to walks to cake sales to bike rides.

What is so different about palliative care and Sue Ryder?

Our healthcare colleagues tell us that working in the charity sector is very different to working in the NHS.

They tell us our nursing to patient ratios are much lower, meaning they are given the time to provide a level of care they are not able to in other care settings. You have the time to get to know your patients and their families too.

Sue Ryder offers holistic care for our patients and their families, and the care we give is tailored to each patient.

As well as providing expert and compassionate care we help people make memories too. Our healthcare colleagues have the time and the opportunities to do more for our patients – there are not many places you can work where you plan a wedding in a day!

At Sue Ryder you will be able to go that extra mile for the people in your care from helping to arranging birthday parties and special musical performances through to sourcing the ice cream a patient has been desperate to try one more time.

When my brother was at Wheatfields it made me realise what a lovely job palliative care is - to provide that reassurance for patients and families in their final weeks.

Sue Ryder Nursing Assistant, Nicola, who switched to a career in palliative care

Not long after the death of her brother at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, Nicola saw an advert for Sue Ryder Palliative Care Hub South Oxfordshire and decided the time was right to fulfil a long-held ambition to work in palliative care.

“I had always fancied working in palliative care, but never had the courage to leave the NHS after working there for so long,” Nicola said. But she felt that she wanted to give something back after experiencing the care and support her brother received, and made the move into palliative care.

Read Nicola's blog about starting her career in palliative care with Sue Ryder

A Sue Ryder Nurse in someone's home, as part of our Hospice at Home service

Sue Ryder staff stories

From newly registered nurses to nursing assistants who've been with us for decades, our amazing staff stories show why working at Sue Ryder is so special. It's more than just a job. It's being there for patients and their families, no matter what.

Any more questions?

If you have more questions about what it’s like to work in palliative care for Sue Ryder, we’d love to hear from you.

Please email recruitment@sueryder.org and get in touch.

If you’re looking for more than just a job, we want you.

Join our team and be there when it matters.