Hello my name is Nicola Payne, and I joined the Beaumond House as a Nurse back in April 2021.
People ask me why do you want to work there? I couldn't do it, they say! I want to share with you why I do it and how it all began.
I started my nursing career working in the community around Newark and Sherwood. Palliative care was something I had heard about in lectures but I hadn't had much exposure during my studies to people receiving palliative or end of life care. As a community nurse the majority of my patients were palliative and I quickly began learning about how to deliver quality palliative and end of life care. I could honestly say that I loved my job and being able to spend time with people, talking about what mattered to them and making a difference felt like the best feeling although tinged with sadness.
My career progressed and I took a path that took me away from patients. In November last year I lost my Granpa to Covid. This time I was on the other side. For the first time in my life I was on the receiving end. I sat in the hospital wearing my PPE and I know how fortunate I was to be able to do that given so many people had missed out on that opportunity. Having that experience, being on the other side, made me remember how much I enjoyed palliative care. I sat one night looking for opportunities, how could I get back to what I loved doing. I couldn't believe my luck when i saw Beaumond House were advertising for a bank nurse role, closing date was the following day.
I quickly pulled together my application and sent it off. I knew some of the team there Louise, Karen from my other roles so I hoped they remembered me. So after a Zoom interview I was lucky enough to be offered a position with the Beaumond House team.
So I work 1-2 days in the hospice and I can honestly say that no day is the same. There is an incredible team of people that work so hard, from in house, as we call it, to hospice at home, day therapy, the fund raising team, domestics, kitchen staff, the list goes on. The team spirit at Beaumond House feels like you are part of a big family. People genuinely care for each other, always willing to help out. Pick up the extra shift. I haven't worked anywhere quite like it. We are there for one another.
People often think that the hospice is a place people come to die but it is so much more than that. We laugh, we dance, we sing, we have fun. I am known to have a little dance and a sing song and although I'm no whitney it does often start others off. Some of my patients take on the role of Simon Cowell, it's a good.job we don't have a big red buzzer otherwise I think it would be pressed a fair bit!
The hospice although clinical setting is like a home from home. People can do pretty much what they want when they want. I recently joked with one patient who was being wheeled out for a 'breath of fresh air' with her inhalers in hand. We are not there to judge or tell people how to live their life. We are there to listen, to care, to support, not just to our patients but to their families too.
The favourite bit of my job is talking to people finding out about them, where they were born, how many siblings they have, have they traveled. I am humbled by the people I meet and their stories.
I have met so many people since working at the hospice. From all walks of life, all of their situations different. I love it when we get people in that connect with one another. We had two people in recently and it turned out they worked together. They were able to sit and reminisce. I already have some great memories from my short time at Beaumond House and look forward to making many more.
So when people ask me how do you do what you do, I hope they understand that although yes there are tears, sadness and pain, being a nurse at Beaumond House enables me to be there for people, make a difference and bring a little bit of happiness.