Senior Staff Nurse, Angela Maguire, oversees Rennie Grove’s range of Day Services available at Grove House. Here she gives an insight into her work.
8:30am - Angela arrives at Grove House and checks for messages. She liaises with her colleagues and confirms who will make the diarised phone calls and brief the day’s volunteers.
9.00am - The weekly Drop-in Session starts with a visit from a family member of a woman diagnosed with MND. She wants to find out about the condition and the support available locally, so she and her family can be prepared. She and Angela discuss the emotional impact of the diagnosis as well as the practical steps families can take. Angela explains that the charity’s Occupational Therapist can help source equipment. She provides information about Rennie Grove’s services and MND support in the area.
9.30am - A family asks for Angela’s help with their father and grandfather, whose condition has suddenly deteriorated. Henry was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago and has been relatively stable after Day Hospice staff worked with his GP to alleviate his pain and minimise side effects. Angela is pleased that he has avoided going into hospital so far, but thinks that he may now need the support of her Hospice at Home colleagues in order to remain at home. She discusses this with the family, speaks to the GP to arrange the referral and notifies the Herts Hospice at Home team.
10am - A woman in her thirties has come directly from the breast clinic at the hospital. Beth is pale and clearly shocked by the diagnosis she has just received. Angela talks to her about her feelings and fears and her worries about telling her children, aged 10 and 13. Angela recommends speaking to Rennie Grove’s Children and Family Support Therapist and, because of a cancellation, is able to arrange for Karen to call on Beth at home later that day.
11am - While patients arrive to take part in the seated exercise session delivered by a trained volunteer, Angela prepares for a planned assessment. Bob has prostate cancer that has metastasised to his bones, but his condition is stable and he is fairly mobile. However, he is experiencing side effects from his medication.
11:15am - Angela meets Bob whose pain relief is making him constipated. She checks his blood glucose levels and discusses options regarding alternative medication and agrees to speak to his consultant. In the meantime she books him onto a course of yoga to help manage the symptoms caused by his treatment.
1.10pm – Having debriefed the Drop-in volunteers, Angela takes a brief lunch break before heading to a local GP surgery for the monthly Gold Standard Framework meeting which discusses patients from that surgery being cared for by Rennie Grove.
1.30pm - One of the GPs is worried about the wife of a patient. John is doing well at Day Hospice and his breathlessness is improving as a result of the strategies he is learning there. However, his wife Lorraine is becoming increasingly anxious. Angela suggests that Lorraine attend the monthly Carer Support Group at Grove House. She also recommends the charity’s counselling service, available either at Grove House or in her own home.
2.00pm - The meeting ends and Angela returns to Grove House, where the yoga teacher has noticed that one of the patients was very breathless during the class.
Angela arranges to contact the patient that afternoon.
2:30pm - Angela prepares for another scheduled assessment. Penelope recently underwent a double mastectomy and is uncomfortable because the skin around her scar is pulling and she has a very limited range of movement. Angela checks the area around the scar for fluid build-up. Satisfied there is none, she suggests that Penelope attend the monthly Scar Workshop Clinic for specialist massage to reduce the pulling and improve mobility.
3:45pm - Angela joins her colleagues at the weekly multidisciplinary team meeting to discuss patients and internal referrals.
4.15pm - Angela makes two phones calls: one to Bob’s consultant to discuss changes to his medication; another to Donald, the patient who was breathless in the yoga class. They discuss his symptoms and agree that Day Hospice might be beneficial for him. Angela arranges the referral before she leaves the office for the day.
Angela says: “Being part of a supportive team and working with families in our community is very rewarding. It is a privilege to be part of an organisation that encourages nurses to develop and I enjoy that every day is different.”