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  • 15 February 2022
  • 11 min read

Why I Chose Not To Move To The NHS As A Newly Qualified Nurse

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  • Kate Cancedda
    Hospice Nurse
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 958
Being a Nurse does not limit you in any way, there are multiple opportunities that a Nurse has with a degree, not many other degrees can say the same.“Being a Nurse does not limit you in any way, there are multiple opportunities that a Nurse has with a degree, not many other degrees can say the same.”

After qualifying, Kate decided to take a non traditional path to start her time as a Newly Qualified Nurse. In this piece, she explains why.

Topics Covered In This Article

Introduction

Experiencing Different Placements

Why I Decided To Work With Patients Within A Hospice Setting

An Insight Into What A Hospice Nurse Can Do

Being A Hospice Nurse Broadened My Understanding Of What An Adult Nurse Can Do

Will I Always Be A Hospice Nurse?

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Introduction

During my last year of Nursing at University, I knew deep down that I didn’t want to work within the NHS for various reasons, but the main reason is that when it was time for me to start thinking of what I wanted to focus on as a Nurse, I found myself always thinking back to all my experiences I had as a Student working on hospital wards and found that I never felt it was where I was meant to be. This is what fuelled my interest of working in as many different areas as possible to find what area of Nursing I wanted to further my career in.

By doing this I gained a lot of confidence and knowledge about multiple different areas and my skill set grew immensely, however I still didn’t find a specific area that I wanted to start my career in.

Experiencing Different Placements

A lot of my placements where within the NHS and were mainly based in ward settings I had very little exposure to Private care and the community.

Throughout your training, your main place to gain your experience is through the NHS and also you’ll find many students join agencies as Healthcare Assistants to gain more experience or going back to previous placements to work within a health care setting whilst continuing their training, which tended to also be based in the NHS.

This, I feel, becomes a comfort zone.

It’s also quite common that when we go into our third year of Nursing and do our final management placement that we will end up working here as it is a minimum of 3 months if we haven’t yet found somewhere to work in our other placements, which is understandable because being a part of a team for three months as a third year Nursing student you learn the daily routine, become friends with colleagues which creates a comfortable supportive environment.

When I did my management placement, it was the start of the pandemic.

I had volunteered to work at a rehabilitation centre as I knew it was turning into a COVID unit and I had been a bank Healthcare Assistant in the same place for 2 years prior to this placement.

This became my personal comfort zone making me think this would be the best place to start my career but I knew deep down it wouldn’t benefit me as a Newly Qualified Nurse.

So, I decided to search for somewhere different.

For me personally, I wanted somewhere that could challenge me as a newly qualified Nurse, somewhere new and out of my comfort zone but at the same time passionate about the work I wolud be doing.

For me personally, I wanted somewhere that could challenge me as a Newly Qualified Nurse, somewhere new and out of my comfort zone but at the same time passionate about the work I would be doing.

I wanted to be a part of a team that did something very special for their patients in a completely different environment to the ones I had previously experienced and that is how I came across my local Charity Hospice.

The work that this Charity has done for their patients is extraordinary and I know this not only from the staff but the stories and experiences from the loved ones of patients that have been looked after in this Hospice and the positive experiences that all of them had.

This gave me the courage to put myself out there and join.

And I’m so grateful that I made this decision to branch out from the NHS, because I am a part of the most amazing team, the support that all the staff give to one another is so different, I believe it has something to do with the nature of the work we do, the type of person who works within a Hospice is caring, empathetic and very knowledgeable and that is every single member of staff within the team I am part of.

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Why I Decided To Work With Patients Within A Hospice Setting

Patients who come through our doors come in for multiple different reasons and are welcome throughout any stage of their condition for symptom management, social and practical needs, emotional and spiritual support.

Our aim is to improve quality of life for those who have a terminal illness or a long term condition which is life-limiting.

This alone sparked my interest in palliative care because it is focused on quality of life.

The World Health Organization defines Quality of life as “individuals’ perceptions of their position in life in the context of the culture and value system in which they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns.”

Quality of life embodies overall well-being and happiness which is different for each and every patient.

This approach to care, one being so holistic really inspired me to start my career here because we care for every aspect of a patient not just their diagnosis.

Those who have care within a Hospice are terminally ill which means that it cannot be cured the different conditions that someone may have can benefit from Hospice care are Dementia, Heart, Liver and Renal Failure, Respiratory conditions, Neurological conditions, Frailty and Cancer.

This is another reason as to why I choose to start my career as a Hospice Nurse, because the care that I would be giving to one person will differ from another as each person’s condition will be individual allowing me to build an even more personal rapport, as the care I give to each person will be specifically tailored to them.

This also gives me the opportunity to further develop my knowledge on each of these conditions.

My personal life is another aspect as to why I decided to be Hospice Nurse, my grandmother was at the end of her life in the Philippines and during this time I was doing my GCSEs and was unable to visit her.

So my mum went back and forth, during her visits she would always update me on how she was doing and the care that she was receiving from the Nurses there, she requested to die at home and the Nurses made it happen as she wanted to die were my grandfather did so this gave her the comfort and care that she needed and wanted.

During my Nursing training it was something that I reflected on a lot, it inspired me to do better, those Nurses did the very best they could for her when I wasn’t able to be, and so I hope to give back that favour to someone’s loved one and help them the way they need me to.

An Insight Into What A Hospice Nurse Can Do

Nurses are involved in a lot of pain management making it quite important for a Hospice Nurse to have knowledge of pain management as the majority of our patients will experience a lot of pain caused by their condition and it’s important to make each individual as comfortable as possible.

Hospice Nurses not only need to understand disease management but are involved with a patients psychological, interpersonal and spiritual needs.

A Hospice Nurse has many roles which, in my opinion, make a unique but very skilled Nurse as we are able to adapt to each and every individual that walks through our door.

Once all clinical tasks are completed, Hospice Nurses are privileged to have the time and sit by their patients’ side, hold their hand, rub their arms, look them in the eye, share stories about growing up, and generally just be there for them.

This is a side of Hospice Nursing that really stands out and what makes Hospice Nurses special.

Hospice Nurses face death very often and it is not a secret that the dying process is often long and bewildering, lonely and painful, often times undignified, and filled with the unknown.

However, Hospice Nurses jump into all these situations and provide a meaningful connection and ease with the transition from life to death to the patient their family and loved ones.

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Being A Hospice Nurse Broadened My Understanding Of What An Adult Nurse Can Do

Before I did my Nursing training I wasn’t fully aware of what duties an Adult Nurse did, I just understood the broadened concept of Nurses helping people who were ill, this isn’t the case after experiencing it first-hand.

We do so much more than just simply helping people, as an Adult Nurse, we are well trained individuals that conduct various medical assessments, are able to analyse physical and emotional needs, educate patients, and work within a multiple disciplinary team, from Doctors to Physiotherapists and Social Workers.

This is just to name a few of the things Nurses can do.

The care a Nurse provides to a person I believe is unlike any other.

Working within the NHS I was exposed to what a Nurse could do and how different departments did specialised duties.

However, it wasn’t until I came to work at the Hospice did my views of being an adult Nurse alter completely.

Yes the patients we look after are quite different to those who are on the wards, so I my opinion is based from working within my specific area, but the care a Hospice Nurse gives to their patients is amazingly different, considering the nature of the job I was expecting it to be different but nothing that I wasn’t used to but I was wrong.

Yes we still conduct various assessments, medication is involved and personal care doesn’t change But our day to day is a different world compared to the wards.

To elaborate our day allows us to spend quality time with our patients not that the wards lack this but comparing them and considering the nature of both Hospice Nurses and Nurses who work on wards we really do get to treat a patient holistically we sit and talk to our patients especially where I work it is an eight bed establishment so we can sit and spend some time talking to our patients.

By the end of each patient’s journey with us we know them a little better as we take memories that the patient and their family share it is truly a Nursing experience unlike any other.

There is a misconception of what a Hospice Nurse does, most people know that it is to do with someone who is going to die, but that isn’t the full extent of our jobs.

There is a misconception of what a Hospice Nurse does, most people know that it is to do with someone who is going to die, but that isn’t the full extent of our jobs.

I also had this misconception of Hospice Nursing so was reluctant to explore this as an option to go into at first, it was always the thrill of being involved in A&E, being a part of theatres and working on med-surge.

I remember going into Nursing thinking by the end of this I’ll be saving life’s and helping people get better, little did I know I would be helping those at the end of their life’s providing quality of care and comfort during their lasts days.

Being a Nurse does not limit you in any way, there are multiple opportunities that a Nurse has with a degree, not many other degrees can say the same. Being a Nurse we can venture into various areas of health care and continue to progress and there is no straight pathway.

There is just an endless abundance of things to do and progress in your career.

Will I Always Be A Hospice Nurse?

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll always be a Hospice Nurse.

That’s not saying I’m not passionate about being one, but having a Nursing degree allows many different doors to venture through and I’m the type of person who will take the opportunity and venture into anything I gain an interest in.

My hope is to definitely go back to university and do my Masters, to add to my qualifications.

This is the beauty of taking a degree in Nursing; you can go into anything you want.

Go back and do further education, or progress to a senior member of staff such as becoming a sister or even later on a ward manager and specialise in a specific area you’re interested in or branching out and changing your career completely.

About the author

  • Kate Cancedda
    Hospice Nurse

Kate has recently graduated university as an Adult Nurse, she works as a Hospice Nurse for a charity, in which her role is to look after those who are in their last transition of life.

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  • Kate Cancedda
    Hospice Nurse

About the author

  • Kate Cancedda
    Hospice Nurse

Kate has recently graduated university as an Adult Nurse, she works as a Hospice Nurse for a charity, in which her role is to look after those who are in their last transition of life.

    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 958

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