Suzanne has worked as a Hospice at Home nurse for Rennie Grove Hospice Care for almost six years. She explains what it is she loves about her role…
“I really like the fact I can be my own boss. I see what a patient needs and in most cases I can make it happen. There’s real job satisfaction in that.
“I used to work on a medical assessment ward, which was chaotically busy. It always felt like you could never do anything properly. We care for thousands of patients at Rennie Grove, but the organisation ensures that we’re never too busy to provide the care we were trained to give. Stepping away from the NHS was the best move I ever made. This is my first community nursing role but I very quickly got used to it. In complex cases, and particularly on a late shift, we’ll visit in pairs - but I prefer the autonomy of visiting, assessing and treating patients on my own – with the back-up of a team if I need it.
“There’s always a friendly face at the office at the end of a bad day. And our team extends beyond the charity to other healthcare providers in the locality. We all support one another and bring something different to the patient.
“We’re able to maintain a good work-life balance: I only work one weekend in five and cover one early (7am till 3pm) or one late (1:30pm till 9:30pm) shift every 10 days or so. The rest of the time I work normal ‘office hours’ on scheduled visits.
“I love the fact that Rennie Grove gives us the time to adapt to any situation we find on a nursing visit. For example, when a patient recently needed a hospital bed in his own home and I knew he was dying, I was able to pull his bed alongside the hospital bed his wife had been in for some time. They were able to hold hands as he died. It wasn’t a large living room and it took some doing to accommodate two hospital beds side by side – but I had the time to make that happen.
“In another recent case, the father of a family died suddenly. The mother (his wife) was our patient and when I responded to the family’s call early that morning, I realised she was going to die that day too. I had four other visits scheduled but I was able to call the office and ask colleagues to attend those visits so I could be with this family – who lost both parents within 12 hours – from 8am till around 3pm. Rennie Grove made that possible for me.
Rennie Grove gives me the confidence and the back-up to say ‘whatever a patient needs, I can do it!’ I feel hugely supported here and I sincerely hope I’ll be here for the rest of my days.”