Nurse encourages others to consider a rewarding career in palliative care


A nurse working with a Sue Ryder hospice in Bedfordshire is sharing her story this Hospice Care Week (October 5 to 11) in the hope of inspiring others to follow a career in palliative care.

Leonie Turner, 32, works as a palliative care nurse at St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger run by the national healthcare charity for palliative, neurological and bereavement care, Sue Ryder.

Leonie says she is keen to encourage people to think about a rewarding career within the hospice industry and wants people to know that her line of work, which many people wrongly feel is sad and depressing, leaves her with a ‘good feeling’ at the end of each shift.

A mother of three, Leonie has wanted to work at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger ever since her grandad received end-of-life care at the hospice when she was a child.

Leonie said, “I always wanted to be a nurse or a midwife when I was younger. When I did my nursing training my last placement was on a medical gastro ward so I fell into a job there and stayed there for about six years.

“When it was time to move on I got a position on an elderly medical ward and then I saw an advert in the paper for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice.

“I have been here for over three years now and it is everything I expected it to be. I feel after every shift that I have done the best I can do for my patients and that’s a good feeling.

“Sometimes at the hospital it just wasn’t possible to deliver the care you wanted to deliver whereas now I know that I have done all I can for my patients and as a nurse that’s what you want.

“As nurses and nursing assistants all we want is for our patients to be comfortable and I think we achieve that, helping people to die with dignity and respect.’

The outbreak of the global Coronavirus pandemic has led to some changes in the way hospice staff work, but Leonie shares everyone has been understanding and the hospice team is continuing to do everything they can to provide expert and compassionate palliative care despite the challenges caused by the pandemic.

“It’s about keeping everybody safe. My nan was in the hospice at the end of April during lockdown so I do know what it has been like for people who haven’t been able to visit their relatives like they would have been able to before all of this.

“But people have been really understanding, and they know we are doing everything we can.”

Leonie adds, “As a direct result of the pandemic, our care is needed now more than ever. By joining our friendly team at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice you’ll be making a real difference to people at a time it really matters.”

Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice has been providing care to people in Bedfordshire for over 40 years, and is currently recruiting Nursing Assistants and Registered Nurses to provide care in both its inpatient unit in Moggerhanger and in people’s own homes as part of its Palliative Care Hub.

The hospice was recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC.

The national healthcare charity offers great benefits for its staff. For information on vacancies email or call 07971 495101.

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