Every year on International Nurse’s Day we celebrate our nurses, two of whom are Jess and Becky, who look after seriously ill children and their families, offering the very best of care whenever and wherever needed.
As part of the rapid response team, Jess and Becky bring all the services offered at the hospice to a family home or hospital ward.
Becky has worked at Claire House for four years. Growing up on the Wirral she has always known of Claire House.
Becky tells us a bit about her job: “We support children with complex needs making sure however long or short their precious lives are, life is as good as it can be.
“Our daily jobs include being in contact with families and visiting children to manage their symptoms. If a child struggles with pain, we may introduce new medicine. We aim to keep children out the hospital where we can.
When a child does have to spend time in hospital, Becky is there.
“We offer emotional support to children and their families in hospital. We create mementos and take parents for a coffee and a chat. We get to know them, so when the time comes, it’s easier to have difficult conversations.
“Every day is different, and the job satisfaction is unbelievable. It is sad and emotional sometimes, but the difference that we can make, sometimes with just a phone call, is vital.
Jess has been at Claire House for nine months but before that she had a job in intensive care at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
She says: “No one day is the same. We are on call all the time, providing emergency or end-of-life care.
“When children are in hospital, we often sit with them for a few hours to give parents a little break from the ward, whether it be to get a meal, take a shower or pop home.
“We also work with other teams at Claire House, whether that is organising a complimentary therapy session for a mum to help her relax or visiting a child with our play specialist to make special memories.
“We are the team around families; in the hospital, they might be dealing with someone different every time, but we are constant, and we understand their child’s needs.
“At the end of a child’s life, sometimes it is the simplest things that are most important – walking in the garden or watching a movie as a family.”
“We had a child who transferred to Claire House from hospital, when they came off the ambulance, mum said it was the first time that he had ever felt rain on his face.
“The relationships that we build are so rewarding. Families trust us to have difficult conversations with them. If we weren’t here, where would they get this help?”