Sophie hopes by sharing her story, she will encourage more registered nurses to get in touch to find out more about the benefits of pursuing a career with Sue Ryder, who are experts in palliative care, and currently has vacancies across a number of its hospices.
“A lot of people might think working at a hospice is all about death, and I want to bust those myths. Hospices have historically been seen as a place where you go in and you don’t come out again and this is simply not true – almost half of our patients come in for specialist symptom management and are discharged.
“Similarly, I think a lot of nurses are put off joining us by the fact that it is a hospice. They assume that we must deal with death all the time, but that’s not true either. We look at ways to improve things for the people we’re caring for to make sure they can live the best lives they possibly can.”
“At Sue Ryder, our nursing is 50% symptom control and 50% end of life care, and it is so rewarding. We support the patient and their family and we work with a multi-disciplinary team of experts to facilitate a truly holistic approach to care.”
“What attracted me to work at Sue Ryder is that we do a lot of acute nursing, from sepsis management and IV medications through to compassionate end of life comfort management. It’s the perfect mix of nursing.”
Sue Ryder currently has vacancies for registered nurses to join its friendly and welcoming team at a number of it hospices. But Sophie is worried people’s perceptions of hospices and the impact of the pandemic might prevent people from pursuing a career there.
“After the past year and the devastating outbreak of the pandemic, I think it has made a lot of nurses realise how important it is to get death right for patients and their families,” shares Sophie. “I also think a lot of nurses are exhausted and they are tired of dealing with death.”
“To any nurses feeling that right now I want them to know how nursing at Sue Ryder is different. We do all we can to improve our patients’ quality of life. In our hospices, we are completely focused on making somebody’s last days as they want them to be.
“The environment we work in is so welcoming and friendly and everyone on the team is very supportive and approachable. When you walk into the hospice you can feel what a special place it is to work.
“Working here is so very different to working in any other care setting. There is always someone you can approach if you need support. We offer regular clinical supervision meetings, and all our hospices have on-site family support teams, who as well as providing emotional and psychological support to families in our care, support our staff too.
“We all support each other here at Sue Ryder, and that’s not just the clinical staff, it’s everyone – the ward clerks to the catering staff to the reception team. Not only are we there when it matters for our patients and their families, but we are there for each other when it matters too.”
The care the hospice gives is something Sophie is really proud of.
“What I think makes nursing at Sue Ryder so different from anywhere else is that you get so much more time to spend with patients. I feel like the care we are able to give is so much more compassionate because of that.
“I am so passionate about the care Sue Ryder gives and I love the holistic side of nursing offered here. Our multidisciplinary approach sees nursing teams work alongside doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, complementary therapists, and a family support team, including spiritual support, to deliver a truly individual and personalised standard of care.”
“One of my proudest moments was a few years back when we helped organise a wedding for one of our patients. Seeing how the whole hospice came together – from the kitchen staff organising the cake to the fundraising team organising the decorations – was really something. We had staff coming in on their days off to make sure the day was as special as it could be for the family.”
“I go home every day and feel like I have made a difference. I look forward to coming to work. Coming to work at Sue Ryder was the best move I’ve made in my career.”
“I feel a real sense of pride in working here. There is something special about saying you work for Sue Ryder. I love it and I would not be anywhere else.”
Sophie hopes by sharing her experience of working at Sue Ryder registered nurses will be inspired to find out more about pursuing a career in palliative care with Sue Ryder. The charity offers placements for student nurses at some of its hospices too.
For more information on nursing careers in palliative care at Sue Ryder visit https://www.sueryder.org/jobs/careers-in-palliative-care