Debbie's story

Why I love my work

Many people say 'I don't know how you do your job, I couldn't’.

Well, they are missing out on a great privilege. To support family and patients when you only get one chance, as a team to get it right, is a privilege - and a challenge.

I really value the team around me, which is made up of hugely supportive and unique people. Whether it’s the banner on the wall made by a Doctor who is moving on that says “Thank you St Wilfrid's Nurses!”, the Occupational Therapist sharing her jazzy socks, another Doctor seeing the drug room bell flashing and asking if they can help, or one of the Housekeeping team asking when you last had a drink. The quick, “yes I know” squeeze of an arm when it's a very busy day all demonstrate to me that I'm part of a really integrated team that cares about its constituent parts.

I work within a very experienced team of nurses from very diverse backgrounds and to a man/women, the message of having the opportunity to undertake care and the time to support family, is a strong one. Communication between all those elements and more is the key to delivering superlative care. The extremely high standards of my Nursing Auxiliary colleagues, and their care and professionalism towards patients and families, is truly inspiring. So too is the support they provide to all their colleagues; very strong role models to all who work with them and another element of cement in the team infrastructure.

Our patients' experiences and profiles are diverse, some visiting for a pre-planned admission for a week's respite care or for symptom control then home again or patients to be supported through end of life.

Each takes slightly different management and in support of that, I have been on some excellent training courses relative to palliative care and have regular clinical updates and in-house training sessions. Reflection in and on practice is encouraged and I have numerous colleagues and an excellent practice educator available to reflect with, and with whom to discuss symptom management.

I take joy from our meal breaks which are shared with everyone who works onsite at the Hospice plus visitors. We have a huge dining room table where we all eat together; you could be sitting with the person you've worked with all morning or anyone else from the Chief Executive, Family Support team members, a volunteer or one of the Fundraising team. It's never quiet with much hilarity and some wonderful food produced in our own kitchens.

So, I love my work because I feel I achieve something worthwhile, while sharing my day with very remarkable and unique people. I am a member of a very supportive family within which I have a voice, I'm constantly learning and being stretched. We share a common goal of providing the best care possible for every patient every time. No second chances.

Debbie Gatwood – Staff Nurse