Nurse: 'I have never felt prouder of our profession'

Tahnee Howard, practice development nurse at Saint Francis Hospice

Tahnee Howard, practice development nurse at Saint Francis Hospice - Credit: Saint Francis Hospice

Tahnee Howard, practice development nurse at Saint Francis Hospice, on her fulfilling role, which sees her both on the ward and working with the education team.

When I was training to be a nurse, I knew I always wanted to work at a hospice as I was always interested in palliative care which focuses on pain relief and helping people manage symptoms of serious illness.

I started work at Saint Francis Hospice in December 2019 as a staff nurse on the ward and I love it.

It makes such a difference when you are part of such a supportive team. The best part of being a nurse at the hospice is that I am able to spend time caring for patients and looking after their families too.

We are still in the pandemic and I have never felt prouder of our profession.

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Everyone at the hospice has adapted so well and we’ve changed the way we work so we can continue to care for people who need our experienced services and support each other.

Earlier this year I got an opportunity to take on the role of professional development nurse.

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This was completely new to me and I have lots to learn but it has been a great challenge so far.

I spend two days a week on the ward so I am still caring for patients and the rest of the week I am based in our onsite education centre where I am part of a support system which looks at all the training and we are there to provide any training that is needed.

I help staff and volunteers across the hospice to keep their skills updated and make sure they feel confident and comfortable in their work so they are able to develop and progress.

I’m really excited that we’ll be offering our staff and volunteers Toolkit Talks from September. We all forget things if we haven’t done them for a while and these will be 10 minutes of learning so people can build on what they already know and do.

I love the fact my new role means I am working more closely with staff and volunteers from across the hospice who I wouldn’t normally have contact with when I work on the ward.

This has been so valuable as it has given me a greater understanding and appreciation of the different roles people do.

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