By Chloe Kitchener, Community Nurse for the Wythenshawe, Brooklands and Northenden Integrated Neighbourhood Team.
I’ve been working as a nurse now for five years and during this time I’ve experienced so many ups and downs. But despite the challenges, I’ve loved every second especially when you’re able to share special moments with patients.
A recent experience that I’ll never forgot is when I spent time with a patient of 80 years.
I’d visited the patient with one of our Health Care Support Worker, Tom, and we quickly noticed that she was nearing the end of her life. Her family weren’t there at the time of the visit and so I called them to see if they were planning to visit that day and advised them to come soon if they were able.
I also called my team lead Faye to inform her that I wanted to stay with the patient until the family arrived if possible. Faye agreed to this, whilst Tom left to complete other visits.
As the patient and I waited on her family, I applied cooling flannels to her forehead and neck as she was quite warm. I also spoke to her and reassured her that her family would arrive soon. I glanced up for a moment and noticed many pictures of Elvis on the walls and books etc. Unfortunately, as the patient could no longer communicate with me, I couldn’t ask her if she was big fan of Elvis. However, I assumed she was and so found a playlist on my phone and played this to her whilst I continued to sit with her.
I felt very emotional and privileged to be in a position to provide comfort to this patient. This is one of the things I love about community nursing, because although it’s upsetting, it’s an amazing and humbling experience and really puts life into perspective.
I work with a great little team and together we are able to provide compassionate care to those at the end of life, which makes a difference to patients and their loved ones.
Wishing all my fellow colleagues a Happy Nurses’ Day.
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