Burnley nurse epitomises why Pendleside Hospice celebrates International Nurses’ Day
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After qualifying at Birch Hill Hospital in Rochdale, then training as a midwife at Burnley General, and later becoming a senior member of staff at a nursing home, Tracey is now one the longest-serving nurses at Pendleside Hospice.
And on the run-up to International Nurses’ Day on Friday, May 12th, Tracey personifies the role of the modern-day nurse excelling in the innovation of healthcare systems and showing unwavering commitment to making a difference to people’s lives.
Pendleside employs around 65 nurses, from advanced clinical practitioners and registered general nurses to auxiliary nurses – all of whom are specially trained in palliative care.
Tracey, who is married with a grown-up daughter and lives in Burnley, was inspired to be a nurse by her two sisters, who had already qualified, with one later becoming a clinical nurse specialist working in cancer care.
She said: “I worked in the nursing home for 11 years, and it was good preparation for working at the hospice. I have a passion for looking after people and their families and trying to make a difficult time as comfortable as possible.
“During my time at Pendleside, the hospice has expanded, and the services it offers have become bigger. Some of our patients are now more complex, but the experience you gain and the training you are given help you be good at your job.
“Pendleside is very supportive and encourages you to learn as treatments and the care we give have changed over the years.”
Tracey added: “We all embrace working at the hospice. It’s a fantastic job because apart from supporting our patients and families, we also, as staff, support each other and work so well as a team.
“If you are struggling with anything, your colleagues pick up on it and are there to help.”
Tracey said the culture on the inpatients’ unit helps staff build relationships with patients and their families and if a particular patient needs extra care on any particular day, a nurse is always available to give that additional help.
“Sometimes it can be emotional, but if you can make a patient and their family’s difficult journey a little bit easier, you have done a good job, and you feel it is a privilege to have helped in their hour of need.
“It is not necessarily when someone has only days to live: it can be when you are addressing a patient’s symptom control that you can make life so much more manageable.”
Tracey, who now works three days a week, said she enjoys passing on her experience to younger members of staff.
“Young people who have trained with us have used it as a springboard to their nursing careers. Pendleside is a good stepping stone because your work is so involved and specialised, and the experience you gain here is fantastic.”
To make a donation to the charity to help it carry out its work, please visit https://www.pendleside.org.uk/