Emma Brown’s view of hospice care completely changed when she became a ward volunteer at Saint Francis Hospice during the pandemic. Seeing the “life changing” care given to patients inspired her to become a health care assistant. Here Emma explains why she’ll be taking on the Step Up challenge and walking 12,000 steps every day throughout March.
My aunt has been a nurse on the ward for almost 20 years and during the first lockdown she told me the hospice needed volunteers. I wanted to help so I got in touch and became a ward volunteer.
It was a complete eye-opener and to my surprise, I absolutely loved it. It was such a friendly place to be and not what I expected. The hospice wasn’t just a place where people come to die.
Many patients were admitted for symptom control and as well as receiving the best medical care, they were also able to access a whole range of services such as physiotherapy, counselling and therapies. And after a short stay, they were well enough to return home again.
My time on the ward made me realise what I wanted to do so I applied and became a health care assistant in October 2020.
It feels good to be part of a team that works so hard to give the best possible care and support to patients. The Hospice really is life changing for so many people.
The best part of my role is being able to spend time with patients. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen weddings being organised at the drop of a hat and it’s lovely to help patients enjoy some home comforts. Many people are too unwell to safely have a bath at home so they really love it when they can have a soak in our big hydro bath.
Some patients may have come in and been too unwell to walk or eat and by the time they leave, they are able to get up and about and enjoy their food again.
There is still so much fear and misunderstanding around hospice care which means some patients are hesitant to come to the hospice. Many have told me they thought they were coming to die and wish they had come earlier.
So many people are astounded when we tell them the hospice is a charity and depend on donations to fund our services. That’s why l’ll be taking on the Step Up challenge this March. Please join me by clicking on this link and signing up – https://www.sfh.org.uk/step-up