This Hospice Care Week, we sat down with Cynthia Lever, Nurse Consultant for palliative and end of life care at Rennie Grove Peace, to discuss her role and why now is a great time to develop your career with us.
When did you join Rennie Grove Peace?
I’ve been working in this role since November, so just under a year, but I’ve worked in palliative and end of life care, in lots of different roles, for nearly 30 years.
How would you describe your role?
It’s very varied and comprises of the four pillars of practice: there’s a clinical component, an educational component, a strategic component and a leadership component. I belong to the National Forum for Palliative Care Nurse Consultants, and there’s about 50 of us in the country, so not a huge amount. We will all have similar experiences, but all do a varied role based on what our organisations require at the time.
Initially my role has involved and supporting clinical developments to support the workforce and working on strategy, policy and working and some of the finer details that support our nurses and our healthcare professionals to practise, but also helping us to collect better quality data to support our practice and to support our organisation grow.
I have relationships with clinicians on the ground to support them with how they’re practising and looking at some of the tools that they’re using to make sure they’re using them appropriately. So, trying to embed good, best practise, based on my years of experience, is a big part of the role.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
What I love about the role is what I loved at beginning of my career about nursing – you never know what you’re going to get and you never really know what the day’s going to be, and it will never, ever be the same.
You’re always going to be challenged. You’re always going to be learning. I’m very proud to say that, in this stage of my career where I’m closer to my retirement than the start of my career, I still learn something new, literally every single day. And I like to share that with students and different members of the team – you never stop learning.
Even when you feel you really know your specialism, there’s always learning to be done, not just because things change, but also because things are constantly being developed. That’s what I love about the job.
Why would you say your role is important for the organisation and our services?
I think having a Nurse Consultant role within the organisation shows there is room for career development if you wish to remain in the same speciality. I can remember being a student on placement in a Hospice many years ago and thinking this is what I would love to do. I think its great for students and nurses to see where their careers can take them.
Why is now a good time to join Rennie Grove Peace?
It’s an exciting time in terms of what we can provide. I’ve worked in palliative care for so long and I have said for many, many years, that as a collective, we need to do things slightly differently and think outside of the box. I believe we are forward thinking in how we do things, in terms of providing services to meet the needs of the population.
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