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It was the rubber gloves that did it! Proud to be a nurse

12th May 2015

Vanessa Gibson
Community Nursing Services Manager writes:

As a small girl I was accident prone, I was forever falling off my bike, walls and swings. But it was an accident with a boiling kettle which was to change my life. At around ten years old I managed to knock a kettle of boiling water down my leg. As my scald healed I was visited by a District Nurse. She came regularly to dress my leg and I vividly remember her seeming to put magic gloves on – one minute they were on a piece of paper the next on her hands.

What magic! I was hooked- I wanted to be a nurse. This decision never changed and at 18 I commenced nurse training. A decision I have never regretted.
I have now been working as a nurse for 30 years and I still love my job, how many people can honestly say that? Two days are never the same and I learn constantly, not just from books but from the people I meet. All through my career I have met fabulous people who at very difficult times have let me into their lives to try and make things just a little better. I have many happy memories of my career not least meeting a very old ex-service man who whilst I dressed his wounds told me all about meeting the king, or the retired miner who whilst I helped him wash and dress told me all about how the coal mines used to work and his life crawling around underground. I have seen amazing things including both kidney and toe transplants – yes really!

Now in a more senior role I take huge pleasure in helping my team of specialist nurses and Hospice at Home team be the very best they can be – to support patients and families in challenging situations and often at the very bleakest time. I am hugely proud of my teams and the work we continually undertake to make sure we meet the changing needs of our patients and families.

I still feel I make a difference to lives be it through the development of a gardening group or a drop in clinic within St Richard’s Shop in Worcester. I still hold on to my key reason for becoming a nurse, even though the magic gloves have long since gone. I became a nurse to try and help, to give back, to support and care for people at their darkest times, to walk with patients and their families and to try and make the situation just a little bit better.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.