St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Chichester has launched a new fundraising initiative, aimed at engaging the community with the work of its nurses.
The nurses provide vital care for patients, both in the hospice and in their own homes.
The Sponsor a Nurse scheme asks supporters for a monthly donation of their choice to help support people in the area at their time of need.
The nursing team enables each and every one of its patients, and their loved ones, to make the most of every day.
Patients are encouraged to go to the day care facilities to take part in activities, socialise and laugh. They come into the ward for symptom control, or end-of-life care, and every step is taken to ensure they remain independent, with no restrictions placed on the visiting times of their family and friends – even their pets are welcome.
One member of the team is Sharon Sheppard. Sharon joined the St Wilfrid’s clinical nurse specialist team nine years ago and feels privileged to be part of a community that supports people in their own homes, including nursing and care homes, within the catchment area.
She is one of ten clinical nurse specialists at the hospice and looks after patients living within the Selsey and Wittering areas. Her role includes seeing new patients and assessing their symptoms, keeping in contact with existing patients and reviewing them on a regular basis, and meeting with patients as necessary.
Ensuring a patient’s quality of life includes caring for them in the place they want to be cared for, wherever possible. It is also vital to ensure that loved ones are supported, as often loved ones become carers and this can have a significant impact on their life, both emotionally and physically.
A typical day for Sharon starts with catching up with any changes to her patients and any urgent issues that need to be dealt with as a priority. After patient visits and meeting with other professionals involved with their care, it is back to the office to update any notes.
As with a majority of the hospice’s clinical nurse specialists, Sharon has taken on the extended role of nurse prescriber to enable her to deal with any symptoms the patients may have in a quicker and more effective way, for example re-evaluating and changing medication doses and leaving new prescriptions, if necessary.
Sharon meets with the relevant GP surgery once a month to discuss and provide updates on patients, ensuring communication is maintained with regard to any changes in their care.
She also works closely with the hospice’s own services, such as the rehabilitation and occupational therapy team, Hospice at Home, consultants and bereavement care team.
Sharon said: “The best thing about my job is getting to meet so many wonderful people at such a vulnerable time in their lives. I feel privileged to help them in as many ways as I can.”
To find out more about Sponsor a Nurse, contact the fundraising department on 01243 755827, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stwh.co.uk/sponsoranurse for more information.
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