With a passion for helping others, Wychwood resident and Hospice East Rand nurse Rose-Marie Storey enjoys lending a hand wherever she can.
Working in the Edenvale, Bedfordview and Greenstone areas, Rose-Marie tends to the needs of Hospice East Rand’s out-patients and provides palliative care.
Palliative care provides comfort to patients suffering from life-threatening diseases and those at the end-stage of their chronic conditions, as well as support for their families.
It includes a holistic approach and addresses patients as a whole, taking their physical, psychosocial, spiritual and cultural aspects into account.
Rose-Marie, who has been with hospice for three and a half years, is a registered nurse who completed her dispensary licence and a palliative care course.
“I always wanted to be a nurse, I am a nurturer by nature,” said Rose-Marie.
“I’ve always had an attraction to helping others and with Hospice you can care for people where they feel most comfortable, in their homes surrounded by their families.”
Depending on the number on her workload Rose-Marie can care for up to 40 patients in one month.
Some of her regular duties include home-based nursing visits, checking of vital signs, wound dressings, reviewing of medication, discussing of a treatment plan and giving medication scripts, administering syringe drivers, counselling and educating the family.
Although the pandemic affected the way the hospice nurses provided care, it did not hamper the care they provided.
“It has been tough, but it has been manageable.”
Rose-Marie said while at a patient’s home she ensured she wore all PPE.
“As a nurse, you create a bond with the patient, but because of the PPE all you can see of each other are the other person’s eyes.”
Rose-Marie said under stricter lockdown levels she was only allowed to visit a patient if they were bedridden.
She said if a patient died it was difficult to arrange an ambulance to collect the body, especially at the start of lockdown as they were responding to Covid-19 deaths.
“Being a palliative nurse can take a lot out of you as you become close with the patient and often give the job your all,” said Rose-Marie.
“To be a palliative nurse you have to be a strong person. It is not the easiest of jobs.”
She said people interested in working as a nurse for hospice need to be extremely dedicated, passionate and patient people.
When Rose-Marie is not caring for patients she enjoys spending time with her husband, training animals.
Rose-Marie and her husband have been married for 28 years and she described him as a pillar of support in her life.