Angela has worked as a children's nurse at The Donna Louise since the very first day the Hospice opened in August 2003. She clearly remembers the first four children who stayed here and over the years has got to know, and care for, hundreds of children and their families.
"I love what I do! I love being able to give one-to-one care and really get to know the families who come here. Before I joined The Donna Louise I had worked as a children's nurse at the hospital for 18 years. I find my role here more diverse than on a hospital ward as we're a nurse-led unit so there isn't always medical staff on site, which means that we're responsible for the children and for making decisions about their care.
"My role is very hands-on and very varied. A typical shift can involve everything from admitting a child and completing the relevant paperwork, administering medicine and bathing them or taking them out for the day.
"The great thing about my job is that we get to see the children when they're well - in the hospital the children are only there because they're very poorly. Although the children here have complex medical conditions, they're here for respite care which means that we can do fun things with them and make their time here special. We also do community visits so it's lovely to be able to see the families in their own homes."
Part of Angela's role involves caring for children at the end of their lives. The children and their families are often well known to the care team staff at the Hospice so they're able to support the families as much, or as little, as they wish. Angela explains, "When we know that a child is reaching the end of their life, and after they have died, we're here for the family as much as they need us. This time is very precious and the fact that they're in an environment that they're used to, with people they know, makes a real difference to them."
Having worked as a children's nurse for more than 30 years, Angela is still really passionate about her role at The Donna Louise and wouldn't want to do anything else. "I love what I do - being so hands on and being able to give so much time to caring for the families who rely on us is just so rewarding.
"I can honestly recommend The Donna Louise as a place to work. For anyone interested in a nursing role here, I'd suggest coming to have a look around the Hospice and then maybe apply for some Bank shifts to get a real understanding of what it's like."
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