We have three fantastic Specialist Nurse Practitioners working for St Barnabas Hospice, and we wanted to highlight their incredible skill and knowledge on International Nurses Day.
Our Specialist Nurse Practitioners (SNPs) are Ryan Jewitt, Mary Hall and Majella Wright. Majella has put some words together to describe how their role impacts the care we provide each and every day.
“Before joining St Barnabas, my previous roles have been Clinical Nurse Specialist in Lung Cancer at The Royal Marsden Hospital Surrey, Clinical Researcher for the Institute of Cancer Research and a Palliative Care Macmillan Nurse in North Yorkshire. These roles equipped me with skills necessary for an Associate Specialist Nurse Practitioner and I have extensive knowledge and expertise in complex cancer care management, specialist practice, life-limiting illness and end-of-life care.
“As SNPs, our role is to be key accessible figures within the Clincal team at St Barnabas. We act as a specialist resource for GPs, community teams, community hospitals, nursing homes and St Barnabas staff. We often initiate advance care planning discussions and facilitate difficult conversations with patients and their families. This enables an individual to have choices as they approach the end of their life. We also support care home staff to have advance care planning conversations with their residents. This is important as we recognise that the staff have established relationships with residents and their families.
“We are all excellent listeners and strong communicators when dealing with people. It is integral that we have a mature, compassionate and sensitive manner. We are clinical supervisors, therefore must ensure that staff have a confidential, safe and supportive environment to discuss emotive issues that arise from caring for people and their families at the end of their life.
“Many of our patients have complex and challenging care needs. Developing a rapport and coordinating care is an essential part of our roles.
“Ultimately, we all die. We have one chance to get it right and our focus is always on the patient and their carer. I believe health care professionals should be enabling people to live well until death. How we get there is engaging with people, asking appropriate questions and having appropriate meaningful and truthful conversations. A Specialist Nurse Practitioner should be at the front line to engage with patients, their carers and other staff to achieve these goals.”