Charlotte: student nurse, Children’s Hospice at Home
Despite the well-documented challenges they face, the hard work, dedication and resilience of today’s nurses is still inspiring people to join the profession. One such aspiring nurse is Charlotte, who completed a placement with Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Children’s Hospice at Home team during her third year at university. Here she reflects on her experience and how it has changed her view on hospice care. Charlotte says:
“In my third year I was allocated a placement with Rennie Grove’s Children’s Hospice at Home team. At first I was apprehensive about what it would be like and how I would find the experience. I now realise that, like many people, I had a lot of misconceptions about hospice care. I thought it would be all about death and dying but I now have a much better understanding of what hospice care is and I have absolutely loved the placement.
“I have completely changed my outlook on hospice care. Through this placement I have been able to see that it is not just about the end of someone’s life, it’s about living life well with the diagnosis you have.
I have completely changed my outlook on hospice care. Through this placement I have been able to see that it is not just about the end of someone’s life, it’s about living life well with the diagnosis you have.
“Rennie Grove’s children’s team is made up of nurses, healthcare assistants and play specialists who can provide family-friendly specialist care right from the point of diagnosis. The team is community-based, offering nursing care and play sessions in the home, as well as supporting parents with a listening ear, some professional advice or even some respite from their caring role.
“Although I’ve worked alongside play specialists before, this is the first time I’ve really shadowed them and understood their work. It has been great for me to see the breadth of what they offer to patients and families, and the impact it can have.
“I have learned so much from the nurses in the team. Just seeing how they interact with patients and families has given me such good insight as well as opportunities to learn and shape my practice.
“As well as my colleagues, I have learned so much from the families we are supporting. Taking the time to speak to them and hear their experience has been an important learning process for me. It’s also very powerful to see parents of children with a life-limiting illness who know so much about their own child’s condition and care that I can learn from them.”
It’s also very powerful to see parents of children with a life-limiting illness who know so much about their own child’s condition and care that I can learn from them.”
When asked about how she came to train as a nurse, Charlotte said:
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I have just always wanted to help people and do a job that gives back. I also like the thought of a career that involves constantly learning new things, and in which every day is different.
“Growing up, my mum worked as a childminder. I was used to being around lots of children and seeing her work gave me an interest in working with children. For me, children’s nursing was the perfect way to combine these interests.”
Reflecting on her career plans and aspirations, Charlotte said:
“I’m coming towards the end of my studies and starting to think about the type of role I’d like to secure, to start my career. Before I started my placement with Rennie Grove I would never have even considered a role in hospice care – purely because it wasn’t on my radar. I would now seriously consider children’s hospice care for a role in the future. I have discovered so much about what hospice care is, and learned so much from the amazing team at Rennie Grove – this is an experience that will really stick with me.”
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Children’s Hospice at Home
Our Children’s Hospice at Home team support children aged 0-18 who have a life-limiting illness.