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“I am a District Nurse based in the East of York, managing a team comprising of six staff that cover a large and busy geographical area, visiting patients in their own homes.

“I have worked for the Health service for 16 years and before coming into community my background was in renal medicine and transplantation, working in the regional centre in Leeds and as Transplant Sister in Bradford. I also have experience of vascular and general surgery.

“Thanks to my vocation I have also had the opportunity to work abroad, spending four years in the Netherlands. The experience was both enjoyable and hard work, having been required to learn Dutch too which saw me inadvertently keep patients amused with many comedic mispronunciations! Despite the difficulty, it was great fun and a hugely rewarding experience.

“I know from my time in the Netherlands that the NHS is much respected and revered, predominantly because of its founding principles of being free at the point of access considering healthcare in the country is insurance based.

“District nursing is a really important piece of the healthcare landscape and every day I feel a huge sense of pride in being able to provide totally holistic care and support for patients and their families within their own homes and communities, enabling them to stay well and maintain independence at home.

“The most rewarding element of my work is the privilege I have of nursing those who are nearing the end of their lives and who have chosen to die at home surrounded by loved ones. This element of palliative care is where I feel the district nursing and the community palliative care teams are exceptional, it is extremely humbling and certainly puts things in perspective.

“The work we do is extremely varied and often challenging with many scenarios requiring us to work alone and make decisions quickly in acute situations. With a lot of travel involved and patients with complex health, social and mental needs, no two days are the same, which means the job is always interesting.

“District nursing has changed so much over the years as advances in medicine & technology have developed, and with that the ability to support and maintain people at home with widely experienced district nursing staff, it’s certainly not all tea and cakes – a popular historical view of community nursing!

“There is a great sense of camaraderie and humour within nursing, particularly within community nursing, and it’s these bonds of friendship that are the glue that binds us together through both good times and bad."

10 August 2018

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