We have appointed our first ever Nurse Associate to work in our Inpatient Unit in Lincoln

St Barnabas Hospice are delighted to announce that Carla Hubbard has become their first ever Nurse Associate, working from the Inpatient Unit in Lincoln.

The nurse associate role has been designed to fill a career gap for those who aren’t quite ready to become a fully registered nurse but would like further training in this area. It is funded as an apprenticeship, which means Carla was still able to work alongside her training at the University of Lincoln.

Carla said, “I am so proud to have been offered this role – the first of its kind at St Barnabas Hospice. My end goal has always been to become a registered nurse, but I’m not quite at the right point in my life to begin this training. It would mean temporarily leaving St Barnabas, which would be a tough decision!

“I have worked for St Barnabas for several years, starting in the North-West Community team before moving to the Louth Day Therapy team and finally to the Inpatient Unit in Lincoln. The pandemic was tough for us all with constant changes to government guidance, but our patients have always remained at the centre of everything we do, and we have got through so far as a team.

“Everyone I work with is just so wonderful and I have never worked in a place where the people are so caring and compassionate. St Barnabas is just like a family and I feel so supported in everything I do. Even the little things like receiving personalised cards from senior management.

“I decided to work in palliative care when my dad, David, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. His diagnosis came as a huge shock to me and I began questioning “why us?” Dad was given the choice to have chemotherapy which would extend his life for a few months, or to choose no treatment and live for just six to eight weeks. He decided not to have treatment which was hard to hear, but I completely stood by him and made a pledge to be his full-time carer.

“I have always been a ‘daddy’s girl’, but our roles were completely reversed when I began caring for him. I kept upbeat and positive, helping him make a list of things that he wanted to do before he died. The hardest part during those weeks was when he refused to take medication to manage his symptoms. I had to keep a brave face for him, but there were times when I broke down in front of others.

“We managed to get him into a local hospice towards the end, which gave me huge peace of mind that I wasn’t on my own anymore. The hospice nurses comforted him at the end when he was agitated and confused, and I stayed with him always. Dad always used to call me his little shadow, and I said to him when he died, “Now it’s your turn to be my shadow, Dad. You better not leave me.”

“For me, it is an honour to now care for other people in Dad’s position as I can relate to how they are feeling. I can’t change their circumstances, but I can do my absolute best for them. The more I give back to others, the more I know that this is my calling in life.

“It is really exciting to be starting this new chapter of my career as a nurse associate and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. St Barnabas Hospice is a wonderful place to work, to visit and to receive care from, and it is a privilege to be part of this.”

St Barnabas Hospice is the leading charity in Lincolnshire providing palliative and end-of-life care to adults living with a life-limiting or terminal illness. To find out more about the services provided free of charge across the county, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk

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