Student nurse, Edie Davenport, has just completed a 9-week placement at Saint Francis Hospice. Here she explains why it is an experience that she will take with her for the rest of her career.
I worked in fashion retail for the best part of 10 years before I became a nurse apprentice. There wasn’t one single reason for my decision to change careers but there was a realisation that I wanted to be in a role where I could really help people.
I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to pursue a degree as a mature student until I found the apprenticeship with Spire Healthcare and the University of Sunderland. It was an amazing opportunity to work full-time as a Healthcare Assistant and learn.
As part of the five-year pathway to a BSC in Adult Nursing, I have worked in a range of departments at Spire Healthcare, from Oncology to the surgical ward and Outpatients. Saint Francis Hospice was my first external placement.
I have absolutely loved my time at the hospice, it has been such an incredible place to learn. My idea of it, and the reality of it, are two very different things. I expected it to be a sad place but it is a very hopeful and positive place to be.
In healthcare we talk about ‘holistic care’ which I see all the time, but Saint Francis Hospice takes it to another level. Before my first day at the hospice, the education team were amazing. Tahnee got in touch and made me feel so welcome, the induction was so thorough that I didn’t feel nervous. I felt really prepared and fully supported.
I’ve spent time with the nurses and the care teams on the ward. I was also able to go out with the Hospice at Home team on a few occasions. It really makes you realise how you never know what goes on behind closed doors and what people are dealing with. Sometimes it isn’t nursing intervention that is needed, sometimes its unwavering emotional support. I don’t know if I will go into palliative care in the future, but I will take all the practical and emotional skills that I have learned at Saint Francis Hospice with me through my career.
I cannot thank everyone at the hospice enough for their time, the opportunity to learn and for the kindness they have given me to help me develop. They are all fantastic and have been so encouraging. It is such a special place because of the people who work here.