“Nights are often tougher for people”
Thanks to your support we’re here to care for people 24/7. We spent time with Sue White and Stacey Holman from our night nursing team to find out more about caring for people overnight.
“Every night is different,” explains Stacey, one of our Nursing Assistants. “There’s often an assumption that people go to bed like they do when they’re well, but people’s sleep is often broken and their care needs continue through the night,” adds Sue, a Senior Staff Nurse.
“In fact, nights are often tougher for people. It’s darker, there’s less activity in the hospice and visitors are less prominent. All that means night-time can bring out anxiety.”
With anxiety and pain often worse for people at night, our night nurses provide individualised care
“By about midnight we try to make sure everyone feels as settled as they can” explains Sue, “but we’re often in with people during the night, responding to their pain or symptoms or turning and moving them. And although hospice admissions aren’t usual overnight, if someone really needs to come in, we’ll welcome them. I’ve had 3am admissions before.”
All the team enjoy giving personalised care
“I remember when I pushed two beds together so a couple could sleep side by side while they were staying with us, says Sue. “That meant a lot to them and it’s things like that which make our care special.”
Stacey agrees, “I get great satisfaction helping people to settle for the night, helping them to clean their teeth or giving them a wash, and making them comfortable.
We’re here to give people whatever they want whether that’s company, food, or medication. I’ve made people soup and sandwiches in the night before and had other people ask me to sit and have a chat with them. People tell me about their grandchildren, what they’re watching on TV or show me their favourite family pictures. One lady showed me a drawing from her son that she’d put on the wall so she could see it from her bed. That really resonated with me because it could have easily been a drawing from one of my kids.”
As well as providing care our night nursing team take calls from people in the community overnight
“People from our community can phone in to us at night and we’re here to give advice and support,” explains Sue. “We get calls from other healthcare professionals, like paramedics, and from relatives and people at home.
People can sometimes be quite distressed, so we give them time. Knowing they can call us makes a difference and sometimes just the reassurance of a kind voice is enough. Kindness is everything.”
“Sometimes families stay with us overnight too,” adds Stacey. “Some people sleep better if a family member stays as it helps provide comfort. There was one lady we cared for who’d only sleep when her daughter stayed and slept next to her bed.”
If you or someone you know would like to join our friendly team and work with people like Stacey and Sue to make a difference, please visit our employment page for our latest vacancies.