A day in the life of Carey, Clinical Nurse Specialist | St Joseph's Hospice

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A day in the life of Carey, Clinical Nurse Specialist

We had a chat with one of our Clinical Nurse Specialists, Carey, to find out a little bit more about her, her work at the hospice and how an invitation changed the course of her career.

Tell us a bit about you

I trained as a nurse and spent a number of years working in A & E in Birmingham. I’ve always loved fashion and I love London so I decided to combine both and came to study fashion design, and while studying I worked in A & E at the Royal Free at the weekends. 

I knew I had to make a decision about the path I wanted to take and I was offered a promotion at the Royal Free and I realised it was my destiny, nursing was the way forward for me! 

I became a Clinical Practice Education Assistant and one day I got an email from St Joseph’s Hospice inviting me to take part in some Palliative Care Training.

I spent the day being taught by Carolyne Barber, whose enthusiasm and passion for Palliative Care Nursing was so infectious that I decided St Joseph’s is where I wanted to be. The rest is history.

What would a typical day look like for you? 

My role is in the Community Palliative Care Team and I visit patients in their own homes in Hackney as that is my patch. First thing I do when I arrive at the hospice in the morning is to check for any overnight calls and then go and see my patients. On a typical day I will see between two and four people but our team have around 300 on our books, covering three boroughs. While I’m there I will assess them and see if they need any help managing symptoms, or a visit from a District Nurse, medication advice, or referral to other hospice services. Then I will come back to the hospice and make lots of calls. We also provide support and teaching to other professionals, and I am currently working on building a link with St Mungo’s to support their staff in providing end of life care to homeless clients. 

Why did you want to work at St Joseph’s?

Carolyne Barber initially, but now I’m here there are so many reasons that it is perfect for me. I loved A & E but you never got time to really talk to the patients, you’d patch them up and send them home or to a ward and never know the outcome. Being a CPCT nurse you are invited into people’s homes, which is an amazing privilege in itself, and you can really get to know the people you are looking after. 

What do you love about your job?

I feel valued here. This job has great meaning, I get to feel I’ve made a difference in someone’s life and our patients are well looked after. I get to work with an individual and get to know them as I am allowed the time do that. That’s very special. 

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