Our people – Amie’s story

We’re so proud of our frontline staff at St Andrew’s Hospice who have committed themselves to their caring profession and worked tirelessly throughout recent events.

We managed to sit down with the lovely Amie Carlton, one of our Clinical Lead Nurses on the Adult’s unit to discuss the challenges and changes in recent times, along with her unwavering passion for the job.  

“I’ve worked at St Andrew’s Hospice for three and a half years and this is my sixth year of being a qualified nurse. I began here as a trained nurse and was then promoted to a Clinical Lead Nurse. I’m really enjoying it, it’s been the best move I’ve ever made. It was the reputation of the hospice that made me aspire to work here more than anything. With a strong interest in end of life care, I knew that hospice care was the ultimate care that we can give to our patients.”

“It can be quite difficult day-to-day at times, but we have a really good team and we really support each other. There are some quite difficult questions we have to answer and particularly hard conversations we have to have. We make sure each day counts for our patients through the care which we provide. Getting to know our patients and their families, helping them make the most of the time they have.”

“My favourite thing about the hospice is being involved in the care, looking after the patients and making sure that you are making everything as comfortable as possible for someone who is dying. More recently we have been able to offer more memory work directly on the unit. The wellbeing coordinators have taught a number of the nurses how to do this, and we’ve all found it really rewarding.” 

“The conversations we are able to have with families whilst we are doing the memory work is so personal, and such a humbling experience. Patients discuss such lovely memories they’ve had with family members and certain feelings that may not have been prompted without the work. It opens up an opportunity of being able to communicate differently.”

“I recently undertook a memory work session with a patient who had not been with us long and we created a piece of art involving owls on a tree branch. I soon learnt that owls turned out to be quite a significant subject for him and his family. His wife has framed the piece we made, with the plan of gifting it to their children at Christmas after their father has passed away.”

“It has obviously been quite a difficult period for us at the hospice since the Covid-19 outbreak. We have had to make a considerable amount of changes in such a short amount of time. 

One of the hardest things for most of us on the unit would be having to limit the number of visitors for our patients. We’ve also had to make sure every visitor has signed in and their temperature has been taken before they access the hospice. We also have to wear PPE throughout our 12 hour shifts which at times makes you become exhausted, especially in the heat.”

“However the coming together of the staff during this time has made us stronger than 

ever. We knew we were a robust team before, but there’s been so many changes, that we’ve had to work together to acclimatise. It has certainly proven how good we are as a team. 

The pandemic has made us all review our processes and has allowed us to provide those special little touches which is what we’re all about at St Andrew’s Hospice. We’re able to do much more, which is why I love it!” 

 

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