Donate to our nurses

Annette: I arrive at the hospice at 19:45 to receive a handover from the day team. There will usually be some visits prebooked in and I will be given an update on their situation. After the handover, myself and the healthcare assistant on the shift with me will head into the office to plan our night and answer any calls that are coming in. We will then set the phone to divert to the mobile and head off out to see patients.

Amber: There is only one nurse on a night shift, and we will be answering calls all night, making visits and travelling from home to home across the city. Calls can be unpredictable and can vary from someone needing advice over the phone, someone that needs a rapid visit booked in for the next day, or others will need a visit that night. Quite often I receive calls from paramedics who have attended to a patient, and they need to discuss a management plan with me. I also receive calls from loved ones when a patient has died. I will then go out to their home and perform the verification of death and complete last offices if the family request it.

Annette: Sometimes I feel a little apprehensive arriving at someone’s home and meeting a new patient and their family as you never know how they are feeling, and a lot of people don’t want to talk about death and dying. I find that people often refer to us as the ‘death squad’ and this is one thing I wish I could change people’s minds about. 

Amber: I find that a lot of patients don’t know what palliative care is, so when I meet a patient and their family, I feel confident and proud to introduce our service and to start building a relationship to support them through the positive and negative times.

Annette: It may sound cliché but end of life care is such a privilege. It is a very intimate part of someone’s life, and they welcome me
 into their home and trust me to support them.

As nurses we go the extra mile for our patients whenever we can. I have sat with a patient who is actively dying during the night after my shift has ended. Administering his medicine and enabling him to die at home as he wishes. Preventing what could be a traumatic death for him and his family by just being there.

Annette and Amber: After our visits we will head back to the hospice for a much-needed coffee and to write up the notes from our visits. The day team start heading in and we have a handover at 8am.

Annette: The whole community nursing team is amazing; I genuinely love my colleagues and the support we give each other.

Amber: I feel incredibly lucky to have the team we have. Everyone from our housekeeping team to the doctors is just so likeminded and supportive. They’re amazing. 

Thank you for taking an interest in our night shifts, it means so much to us to be Mountbatten nurses and to have the support of people like you.