‘Nurses become a keystone of care, support and advice at the most challenging time’
As part of our Christmas Appeal this year, we would like to introduce you to Jon Anderson, one of our team of dedicated nurses. Jon joined St Peter & St James Hospice three years ago, and this is his story that he would love to share with you below.
Did you know that it costs £8,000 a day just to keep our hospice running, and over £3 million a year to deliver our services to patients and their families? We are a charity, which means that nearly 80% of our income relies on donations from people like you.
If you would like to donate to our Christmas Appeal, please visit our JustGiving page.
Ten years ago, I had a 6-week placement at St Peter & St James Hospice as a student nurse, where I shadowed experienced nurses and learnt a lot of practical skills. I went on to qualify as a nurse and worked in the acute Trust in Brighton and Newhaven for 5 years, but always knew I wanted to do something more meaningful. With this in mind, I was drawn back to St Peter & St James Hospice, and 3 years ago I joined their team once again, but this time as a staff nurse.
I spent a very fulfilling 18 months in this role, working with patients and families who came into the hospice in-patient unit needing our care and support. I then applied for a new role, Community Staff Nurse, which involved working to support the community nursing team, and I have recently been promoted to Community Clinical Nurse Specialist. Each of these roles are very different to my previous nursing role, which focused primarily on end of life patient care in the hospice; my subsequent roles have meant meeting patients earlier in the journey and supporting them, along with their families, often in their own homes. I am really enjoying having the opportunity to do something different, working in the community, and gaining new knowledge and skills.
I love what I do! I really enjoy regularly visiting the people I am caring for, and their families, and getting to know them and their situation. I believe nurses become such an inherently important part of a family’s life; we become a keystone of care, support and advice at the most challenging time. It’s important to remember that, for many families, they are witnessing the process of dying for the first time, and with someone they love dearly, so I always ensure I am sensitive to their needs and gentle in my approach. I also continue to support families post-bereavement, helping them to navigate their very personal grieving process, which is an equally important part of my role as Community Staff Nurse.
The most rewarding part of my job is knowing how much my support means to the families I am involved with. Knowing how grateful they are, and the difference I have personally made to their experience, is something I will always enjoy about my role at St Peter & St James.