Rob has been working as a Hospice at Home nurse in the South Bucks team for the past nine months. He has been in nursing for 13 years and was a district nurse in his previous role. Here, Rob explains why he feels so privileged to work for the charity…
“I worked closely with the Rennie Grove team when I was a district nurse in the South Bucks region, and I’ve always been interested in palliative care. I really wanted to specialise in this area and, since joining Rennie Grove, I’ve found it to be so much more rewarding than general nursing.
“The shift patterns are really flexible too, and I usually do one early and one late a week and the rest is 9-5. We normally finish on time, but if we do have to work a little bit later, this time owing is always honoured.
“During the nine months I’ve been here, the support I’ve had has been fantastic. It always takes some time to settle into a new job, but my induction was one of the best I’ve had in my career. I shadowed several nurses for three months, which was really useful to see how everyone worked and meant that I wasn’t thrown in at the deep end.
“There’s a real focus on developing people, and I’ve been encouraged to answer my own questions from the beginning, with other nurses asking me ‘What would you do?’ rather than just telling me the answer. This really helped me to learn and build up my confidence in a new role. I was also assigned to a mentor for about six months, and I have regular one-to-ones with my line manager.
“There are 10 of us in the South Bucks team. We have weekly meetings to debrief and discuss any concerns, and we support each other informally too – there’s always a senior Clinical Nurse Specialist available to help you if you need them. This support element is one of the best things about working here, and it’s something that I’ve never had before in previous jobs so is really refreshing.
“Training opportunities are always available too. For instance, I’m due to go on a six-day course on symptom management, and I’ve recently had training on how to deal with specific pain. It’s really great to be able to attend courses like this on top of the usual mandatory training modules, and you’re always encouraged to build on your qualifications.
“Working for Rennie Grove has been truly one of the most rewarding and special roles I’ve ever held in my nursing career. It is a real privilege to be part of patients’ care and to be in people’s lives and homes at such a difficult time. I often get thank you cards from families expressing their gratitude, and these really are priceless – it makes everything worthwhile.
“All of the nurses, and the wider fundraising team, work so hard to support patients and their families and, this year, I’m going to be taking part in a skydive challenge to raise money for Rennie Grove. I feel that, for each and every patient, it is my time now to give something back through my sponsorship to say ‘thank you’ to them and support such an important organisation.”