Rose's story | St Joseph's Hospice

Rose's story

Rose Dodzo, Nurse Advisor
Rose is one of the longest serving staff members of St Joseph’s Hospice and recently celebrated 35 years here. She began her career as a Healthcare Assistant in 1978 and spent many years as Night Sister looking after all 42 Hospice beds.

Rose was recently appointed as Nurse Advisor for our new 24/7 Information and Support telephone line.

How has the care of patients at St Joseph’s has changed from 35 years ago?
"St Joseph’s Hospice has always had a good reputation. There were three areas of care when I started:

  • life limiting illness;
  • rehabilitation; and
  • care of the terminally ill and the dying, which is where I worked. 

The Religious Sisters of Charity managed the wards and each morning staff would gather for morning prayers, although it’s important to say that St Joseph’s welcomed all denominations and none. Most patients came here to die but now most come in for symptom control and respite and can be discharged either home again or to a Nursing Home. 

There are also more treatment options available now that can enhance life. St Joseph’s practices holistic care, meaning we also look after the relatives needs and provide facilities for those who want to stay when their loved ones are dying."

Have you always worked night shifts?
"At first I worked days but there was always a shortage of night nurses. I am very much used to night duty and find myself tidying up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep."

What would a typical night shift involve?
"When I was a Night Sister, I was responsible for the entire Hospice, managing 10 nursing staff and 1 security man. I oversaw the management of all wards including staff, grounds, the Sisters in the old convent and quite often people walked in from the street looking for help. I spent time with bereaved relatives, sat with patients when nurses were busy and was hands on whenever I could be. I also ensured staff had their breaks and that relatives staying the night were made comfortable and aware of all the services they could access. I made decisions on whether to call a priest, Imam or Doctor on call for the patients."

What will your new role as Nurse Advisor for the 24/7 Information and Support telephone service involve?
"My main responsibility in my new role is to help prevent unnecessary admission of community patients to hospitals at night, ensure 24/7 availability of key services and to help meet people’s choice in place of care and place of death."

What's the best thing about working at St Joseph’s Hospice?
"It's a privilege to care for the patients and their family at the most vulnerable time in their lives and to give them the holistic care that was always advocated by St Joseph’s. I began to understand what Spirituality is all about and am privileged to work with so many caring people."

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