The Best Job In The World
12th October, 2023
The job here is so rewarding, I jump out of bed in the mornings and love coming to work,” says Cathy, a Senior Staff Nurse at Les Bourgs Hospice.
“It’s extremely rewarding to know that we are making a significant difference to people’s lives at such a difficult time.”
Flexible working hours are an option, the hospice provides attractive benefits for contracted staff including a pension scheme, healthcare package, generous CPD support, online training as well as ‘face to face’ & VQ training.
“I’ve only ever wanted to be a nurse and have been doing it for 40 years but only joined the hospice 2 years ago,” explains Cathy.
“We offer holistic care here and that is special. In some healthcare settings it gets very busy with not enough staff to complete all the jobs and that must be frustrating. But here we can look after the patients, their families, and the significant other people in their lives. It is truly holistic.
“It may not be how people perceive a hospice, but believe me, this is a very happy, special place to work. As a team we are very close and are always ready to help each other, share ideas and offer support when the work gets to be intense.”
Sharon is a Ward Sister at Les Bourgs. She says their goal is to try to make the dying experience as good as it possibly can be for patients and families. “We have a very calm and peaceful environment at Les Bourgs. We optimise our patients’ symptom management to ease them through the final part of their lives. This is done through medication, therapeutic relationships and we get to know them and their families very well.
“But the hospice is also a place of specialist respite so patients can spend time away from home to give their principal carers a deserved rest. Not all have cancer as we also look after those with MS, Motor Neurone disease as well as cardiac and respiratory illnesses.”
Healthcare Assistant Sally says: “We are trying to make a home from home for the patients and help them and their families build good memories and experience enjoyment despite the process they are going through. It is so fulfilling to know that you can do that for patients and their families.”
Nurse Manager Letishia explains that there are vacant contracted posts available for registered nurses and health care assistants with all levels of experience: “Some people may apply here who have never nursed but are interested in it. We can support them with VQ training and create a new career pathway, or help them change pathway as Helen has done, moving from working with those with Learning disabilities to palliative care.”
Helen has only been a healthcare assistant at Les Bourgs for 8 weeks: “I was very apprehensive when I first arrived but, the hospice is an uplifting place to work. I go home knowing I have made a difference. It might just be making a cup of tea or painting someone’s nails, but these small things can be very important.”
The hospice currently needs healthcare assistants for contracted posts. Letishia says they become the team’s eyes and ears as they’re with patients all the time, offering personal care, helping the families to relax, feel at home and share any concerns they may have.
Les Bourgs is also keen to hear from experienced nurses who may be approaching retirement and do not want to go through the process of revalidation but wish to continue working in a healthcare setting. There are opportunities for them at Les Bourgs Hospice to carry on in a holistic, nursing role as a healthcare assistant.
“These nurses are very valuable to us as they bring so much knowledge and experience with them,” says Letishia. “They make a big difference to the team.”
Laura is a senior staff nurse, has been at Les Bourgs for 15 years and is part of the team that provides one-to-one bereavement support sessions to relatives: “From the moment people arrive we support them on their grief journey. When someone dies here, we continue the relationship with families and get back in touch around 4 weeks after their loved one has passed. We offer them one-to-one bereavement support. Some have returned to see us a year later. It’s a very personalised journey and we like to be able to help everyone with their specific needs. But it’s a big step for some people coming back through the doors of the hospice.
“We’re looking to start a coffee morning when people can meet others who have lost a loved one and they can provide comfort and help each other by sharing their experiences. We support children too and have a library of books that explain death in a sensitive way.
“All members of staff are involved in bereavement support. It is a key part of our nursing role. I once heard someone say “We never forget our loved one and the life we had together, but we learn to find a new way of living and adjust to a new routine, moving forward at a pace that suits you only” It is our role to support people in finding a way forward and a new way of living.
If you are non-judgmental and have empathy, compassion, kindness, generosity, flexibility and initiative and you want to make a difference to people and their families at such a significant time in their lives, Letishia and the team would love to meet you. Please email email@example.com to arrange an informal visit.
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