Caroline Collins, Clinical Nurse Specialist in our Community Team, has recently celebrated 15 years’ service working with us. Here she shares her reflections.
“It was the 9th July 2007 to be precise! But today, a card popped through my door recognising 15 years this month of nursing at St Catherine’s Hospice!
Gone through some tough times – probably feels like the toughest of times ‘post-Covid’ is right now…But it’s an incredibly rewarding ‘job’ and I’ve been lucky to have found a career I love
We are different to other health care providers in so much as we prioritise ‘TIME’ spent with the people we care for
That’s not as easy as it sounds because we have a huge population to look after.
But I can honestly say that the biggest service I provide to the people in our community is respecting the time they need to be able to share their experiences with us. That way, together, we get down to the bottom of their worries and concerns and we build up from there
Sometimes it’s about our expert knowledge of symptom management, other times it’s about asking my social worker colleagues and wellbeing team to step in and offer solutions to social or psychological difficulties, perhaps it’s to do with explaining complicated clinic letters they’ve been sent by hospital teams. At other times it is about listening and hearing and working through issues to ease anxieties and fears.
I’ll be brutally honest now – at the moment we are seriously stretched
Like everyone else we have staffing pressures and an increased caseload. Not enough hours in a shift, lots of miles to cover and not enough minutes in an hour!
It’s challenging. It’s expensive and of course we’re a charity…BUT….when you work with the most professional, resilient and kind-hearted, sincere people you’re likely to find anywhere, you just keep on pushing through.
I have had some wonderful conversations with many people recently – and every single one was grateful and thankful that St Catherine’s is there for them. They usually express their gratitude by saying they don’t know how they would ‘cope’ without us
That’s why after 15 years I still work at St Catherine’s. It’s a fulfilling job and what I do truly matters – it makes a difference.
I so wish more nurses would join us – imagine how much more awesome we could be if there were more of us!”
If you or someone you know would like to work with us, please take a look at our latest vacancies and on behalf of all of us here at St Catherine’s, congratulations Caroline and thank you for your dedication and service!