‘Proud to say I work for Ren­nie Grove’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

Along­side its reg­is­tered, spe­cial­ist nurses, Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care em­ploys Health­care As­sis­tants (HCAs) to pro­vide sup­port and per­sonal care to pa­tients and their fam­i­lies.

Han­nah Briggs, 23, joined Ren­nie Grove as a Health­care As­sis­tant last July.

She works with the char­ity’s nurs­ing teams based in Chal­font St Giles, sup­port­ing pa­tients and their fam­i­lies liv­ing in and around Wy­combe and South Bucks.

Her role in­volves vis­it­ing pa­tients whose con­di­tion is sta­ble, pro­vid­ing per­sonal care such as help­ing them to shower.

She de­scribes her­self as the ‘stop­gap’ be­tween pa­tients who live alone and have no care pack­age, and those whose care needs are met by a care agency.

In this re­spect, her role is cru­cial in en­abling those pa­tients to come home from hos­pi­tal, who would oth­er­wise have had to stay there un­nec­es­sar­ily.

Han­nah ex­plains: “Some pa­tients don’t al­ways feel com­fort­able with car­ers from an agency, but they need some form of care pack­age in or­der to re­main at home. Of­ten I’ll go in for a few vis­its and help them with wash­ing and dress­ing and then they feel hap­pier about ac­cept­ing help from car­ers along­side the nurs­ing care pro­vided by my col­leagues.”

Han­nah also sits with pa­tients in or­der to give fam­ily mem­bers some respite from car­ing, to en­able them to catch up on sleep, do some house­work or pop to the shops.

She also sup­ports Ren­nie Grove’s nurses and fam­ily mem­bers by pick­ing up forms from doc­tors’ surg­eries and col­lect­ing pre­scrip­tions. In ad­di­tion, she uses her beauty ther­apy qual­i­fi­ca­tion to of­fer pa­tients man­i­cures or to set their hair.

“It’s ob­vi­ously not a cru­cial part of the care we pro­vide, but I re­ally like be­ing able to of­fer a lit­tle ex­tra lux­ury that can help a pa­tient re­lax and feel good about them­selves,” she adds.

Han­nah says she has grown so much in con­fi­dence since join­ing Ren­nie Grove: “When I meet pa­tients, it’s part of my job to as­sess them to make sure there has been no de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in their con­di­tion – no side ef­fects from med­i­ca­tion or re­cur­rence of symp­toms. I feed­back to the nurses so they can pick up on any con­cerns.

“By talk­ing to the nurses about th­ese con­ver­sa­tions, I’ve learnt a huge amount in a short space of time.”

As part of her in­duc­tion, Han­nah cov­ered night shifts with nurs­ing col­leagues, where, be­cause of the re­spon­sive na­ture of Ren­nie Grove’s out-of-hours ser­vice, she learnt more about the spe­cial­ist care and hands-on nurs­ing that Ren­nie Grove pro­vides to pa­tients with pal­lia­tive care needs.

She says: “Dur­ing the day, I at­tend sched­uled vis­its with nurses, where I learn a lot about how to di­ag­nose any un­der­ly­ing is­sues with a pa­tient’s con­di­tion.

“Night vis­its, on the other hand, are more likely to in­volve med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion: a pa­tient might need their pain re­lief ad­just­ing or med­i­ca­tion from their ‘just in case’ box to bring other symp­toms un­der con­trol.”

Han­nah re­cently com­pleted her Care Cer­tifi­cate: a 15-mod­ule qual­i­fi­ca­tion cov­er­ing aspects of care such as com­mu­ni­ca­tion, pa­tient-cen­tred care, nutri­tion, hygiene and health and safety.

“I’m very proud to have gained this qual­i­fi­ca­tion and to say I work for Ren­nie Grove.

“The char­ity’s nurses are so well re­spected by fam­i­lies and fel­low health­care pro­fes­sion­als alike, ini­tially as Iain Ren­nie Hospice at Home, and now – 30 years on – as Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care. It’s a priv­i­lege to work along­side them and to help make a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple at such a dif­fi­cult time in their lives,” Han­nah con­cludes.

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