“I had an interest in nursing from a young age, caring for elderly family members and watching care providers coming into the home and giving grandparents care,” she says.
“I thought it looked so rewarding and also that you would be valued as a care worker.”
It was that early determination to enter nursing that prompted Charlotte to bypass sixth form studies and take up a post as a cadet nurse at the age of 16, also working in care homes before eventually studying for a nursing degree from the University of York.
“My first full nursing post was at York Hospital on an acute surgical ward but then I went on to work in A&E in both Rotherham and Sheffield,” she says.
“I loved A&E, it’s hard work and physically draining but I loved looking after really poorly people and quite often people who were at the end of their lives, though in A&E you don’t get the chance to look after them like you want to.
“My passion was still palliative care and I did spend some time working in an oncology ward, which is where I developed the real interest in end of life care and looking after cancer patients.”
And it is that enthusiasm that led Charlotte to become a Community Palliative Care Nurse with St Luke’s, taking our high standard of care out into homes across Sheffield.
“All our patients have incurable diseases and we know they will become terminally ill but we offer a whole holistic approach to their care that covers everything from pain control to psycho-spiritual care and dealing with social issues, signposting patients to other support services where needed” she explains.
“Nor do we only see cancer patients – we also support people with conditions like Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and COPD but whatever the case may be, we know that people really value our support and particularly the fact that we have the time to let them talk, which is incredibly valuable.
“A lot of the feedback we receive is thanking us for listening – but that’s not a skill, it’s just something we do.”
Charlotte shared her passion for palliative nursing by supporting the Careers and Volunteering Fair, which was held on June 16, giving people a chance to explore the many professional and voluntary opportunities currently available with the charity.
“My personal aim is to continue to progress in palliative care and I’ll be returning to university in September to continue studying towards my Masters,” Charlotte says.
“I’m always wanting to learn more and up my skills and my knowledge because that has to be good for the patients.
“I felt like I know a lot from being a senior A&E nurse but being at St Luke’s has taken my education to the next level and every day now is a learning day.
“You do have to have the passion to want to get into palliative care but I would encourage anybody who thinks they might be interested to spend time with your local palliative care unit and explore the roles and services that are available because it is such a rewarding and beautiful job and I do love it.”