Why I work for Martlets as a night nurse 

Why I work for Martlets as a night nurse 

Nikki Jones is a Staff Nurse at Martlets and has worked with us for over a decade. For Hospice Care Week 2022, Nikki talks about her experiences as a nurse on our inpatient unit.  

I first started working for Martlets about 14 years ago, when I applied for a bank role on the inpatient unit. Before then I’d been working as a specialist cancer nurse, but I wanted a better work life balance to help care for my family. At present, I work as a nurse on the night shift on a part time basis. 

When I arrive at the beginning of my shift, I have a handover with staff who’ve been working during the day. This is so I can understand the patients we have on the ward and their needs. We usually have around 2 trained nurses working and 2 healthcare assistants too. There’s always lots for each of us to do.  

The inpatient unit is different at night and can give us the chance to find out more about the patient and their family. Working at night can be busy as people’s emotions often feel magnified. Patients and their families sometimes find it easier to raise things they have been worried about during the day that they didn’t have time to ask about too. A big part of our role is giving specialised symptom control.  

The hub 

The other part of my role is to answer our ‘hub’, that is our 24/7 phone line. This service is managed by a specialist team during the day, but at nights it is transferred to us. That means we aren’t just supporting our patients on the ward, but the whole community too.  

We are the people that people phone in the early hours when they are worried, and we are the voice on the end of the line who can give support and advice. I think people don’t always realise this, especially if they are used to phoning during the day.  

Nikki Jones, Night Nurse, smiling

Who we care for 

Many people think that the patients we care for at Martlets are facing the end of their life. For some patients, that is the case, but for others we are involved in their care for some time. Many of the patients we care form on the ward are in for a short period of time before we discharge them home.  

This could be because they need help with managing their symptoms or because their carers need respite. When they are in to help manage symptoms, our aim is to ensure they can live their life to the full.  

People sometimes say that we let them just be the family, rather than carers. We do the caring, so they can be there to love their family member, rather than worry about their symptoms or needs.  

Another misconception is that we only care for cancer patients. But actually, we care for any patients with a terminal illness.  

What I love about Martlets 

I love caring for people and I feel that working at nights gives me space to provide that hands on care. I really enjoy contact with patients and knowing that I can make a difference. It’s really rewarding knowing you’ve made something that could be horrendous, that little less difficult.  

The team at Martlets are also great. We have the support of a wider team who aren’t just involved in direct patient care. We also have the support of our colleagues on the inpatient unit too. I love the comradery and my colleagues are incredible. They make such a difference because we are all in it together, especially when we’ve had an emotional time. Working at Martlets feels like a community.  

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Published 12/10/2022