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Hi, my name is Amber, I am an Associate Nurse Practitioner at Mountbatten Hampshire. I have always enjoyed looking after people and feel incredibly proud to be a Mountbatten Nurse.

End-of-life care requires specialist communication skills, knowledge and practice. There is no other role like it. I get to provide support and care to patients and their loved ones during such an intimate and sensitive time. 

Often, I find people don’t know what we do, or how we can help. I think this can come from them thinking ‘I’m not dying’ but I start the conversations off around death and dying and listen to them and I see such strong opinions from patients on what they want, which I then document so we can facilitate when the time is ready. 

People will often ask me, ‘how do you do it, you’re so young’. They assume my job is sad and at times it is. We are only human and supporting people who are dealing with awful diseases and dying, it can feel overwhelming. Time and experience have taught me the importance of what I do. Being able to talk about death is so important, to help a person understand, accept and make choices that enhance their experience.

Sometimes people need support in other ways when they are facing the end of their life. I remember a patient I supported who lived alone with their dog, Bella. Bella was a boisterous Pitbull-Bulldog cross. She was massive but adorable. My patient’s condition deteriorated, and we agreed that they needed to come into the hospice to help get their symptoms under control.

This was the best move for the patient but it then left Bella home alone. My patient turned to me and asked if I would help look after Bella, I said ‘no problem’. For a short time, I fed and walked Bella and did a little hoovering to keep the home in good condition. Unfortunately, they had further complications with their condition and recognised that they were actively dying. A place was found for Bella at a local kennel and they both went their separate ways. My patient died comfortably at the hospice. 

It isn’t often that a patient will have no local family or friends and looking after Bella was something I felt compelled to do. 

I feel so lucky to work for Mountbatten, I really do. It feels like a natural role for me. Being a part of a team that is so supportive helps me to feel confident in my role as a Mountbatten Nurse.

Click here to follow me on a night shift