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Hands on nursing that involves the whole family

The thing that one of our staff nurses, Dianne Wright likes most about her job is the interaction with patients and their families.

“I’m doing hands on nursing and that’s what I love doing, especially as it involves the whole family,” she says.

“I think one of the central things about palliative care is that you can’t separate the patient from the family unit – you have to see them as a whole.”

“But at the same time you have to keep the patient at the forefront and they have to be able to make their own decisions.”

How much the wider family is involved in decisions will vary from case to case, she adds.

“We have some families sleep here from day one and have to be persuaded that they can go home,” she says.

“Then there are other cases where you will get a phone call at 8am from somebody just wanting to check everything is okay and then, after a visit, they’ll phone last thing at night.

“Whatever the circumstances, I think it’s important we present an accurate picture of what’s happening and that’s vital in building a good relationship with relatives.”

“Our patients have already come on a very long journey before they come to us and there are not many who don’t have an understanding of what is happening.”

“But sometimes it is harder to be an onlooker than a patient and just as each patient is individual, so each family is individual too.”