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Often people just need to talk, be heard and supported

Amanda Mason is a Community Senior Staff Nurse at our hospice. She shares more about her vital work throughout the pandemic.

“How I work and the work I now do is currently different, due to the impact of COVID-19 but the passion I have for being a palliative care nurse working in the community setting has remained.

I’ve worked for St Catherine’s for many years and seen many changes, but COVID-19 has taken us all by surprise and adjusted many of our working practices. We’re all aware the hospice is having to make some really tough, financial decisions too.

I currently have little face-to-face contact with patients and families

I spend my 12 hour shift from 8am to 8pm in triage, answering phone calls from many, different people with all sorts of concerns or worries, or contacting patients that have been referred to us by other healthcare professionals.

Often that first contact we make can be reassuring, but sometimes it’s a little startling for people. I often hear “I’m not ready to come into the hospice yet.” Talking to someone and explaining how we support everyone within our catchment area, and the services we have on offer slowly begins to relax them. Knowing we work closely with other local healthcare professionals to support them, as many of our patients never actually enter the hospice, also opens up discussions about what their thoughts, wishes and preferences may be in the future. Some patients are more open to having these discussions and have already thought about their Advanced Care Plan, others haven’t. These discussions are sometimes hard to have over the phone but they’re important and relevant so we can make sure we provide the best care for everyone – That starts with knowing their wishes.

Knowing they have our contact number and they can call us anytime in 24 hours is often welcomed by patients and relatives

As caring for someone with or living with a palliative diagnosis is really hard -Emotionally and physically for patients and their loved ones. As the darkness of the evening and night draws in, people’s worries and concerns can often increase so being able to seek support, even overnight, is very reassuring.

Often people just need to talk, be heard and supported 

For me personally, COVID-19 has been hard. I’ve struggled not being able to see my family, hug my Mum, and have missed my grandsons cuddles – but for many of the families we look after these struggles continue – People are vulnerable, and they have been and continue to isolate, so I cannot begin to know how tough that is for them. Ultimately, we all need to feel supported, and loved – It’s the one thing we all possess, keep with us and take with us.”

To make a donation so Amanda and her colleagues can continue to be there to answer people’s calls, day or night, please click here

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