A 48-year-old woman from Oakley in Bedfordshire has celebrated two decades of dedicated service as a palliative care nurse at Sue Ryders St John’s Hospice near Moggerhanger and says that she couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
Sue Ryder Nurse, Rachel Gilbert, began her nursing career at a local hospital before deciding that working in palliative care was where she wanted to be. She joined Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in 2003 and has stayed with the charity ever since delivering expert and compassionate care.
“When I imagined being a nurse it was because I wanted to care for people and at Sue Ryder that’s exactly what we do,” said Rachel.
“We don’t just care for our patients; we care for their relatives and friends too, giving them the best possible experience at what can be a difficult time for all.
“For me working at Sue Ryder is more than just a job, it’s part of my life. We have the nicest and most incredible team too, which is why I have been at the hospice for so long.”
Since joining the hospice twenty years ago Rachel says she has seen significant changes in palliative care and her role as a palliative care nurse.
“A lot has changed since I first started working at the hospice as a junior nurse. The role of a palliative care nurse has become more technical, and we are doing more in our role than ever before.
“The advances in medicines, treatment, and symptom control over the twenty years means that we are treating patients for longer too and we are very much more focused on the individual and tailoring our support to our patients’ needs,” she added.
Rachel hopes that by sharing her experience, she can encourage other people to pursue a career in palliative care with the charity.
“I think for anyone considering a role in palliative care it would be the best decision they made. It’s not the sad job I thought it could be when I first joined and when I think of high-quality nursing care it’s exactly what we offer here.
“The team go above and beyond every day and we have the time to spend with our patients helping them feel the very best they can. I can’t imagine working anywhere else!
“It can be a flexible role too. When I first started, I was full-time, but now I have a family I work part-time, and I have a varied shift pattern.
“The team is so supportive; everybody is kind, caring and understanding. We know each other so well and that’s what makes us so special. It’s like a family rather than just a place to work,” Rachel added.
Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice is opening its doors on Thursday 20th April for a career’s information morning for nursing professionals.
Take a tour of the hospice and inpatient unit, speak to existing staff, and have the opportunity for interview on the day.
For more information on a career in palliative care with Sue Ryder visit www.sueryder.org/palliativecareers
About Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice:
Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice is located in Moggerhanger, Bedfordshire, and provides expert palliative care, advice and support for people who are living with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families.
Our inpatient hospice provides round-the-clock assessment and specialist care to help manage patients’ symptoms. In addition to our inpatient unit, we also offer community services for people who prefer to receive palliative care at home.
Our expert team includes doctors, nurses, care assistants, physiotherapists, occupational and complementary therapists, social workers and bereavement support workers. They all work seamlessly together to support people through the most difficult times of their lives.