Published
3 December 2015

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Natalie Wimpress’ story

Natalie is a Health Care Assistant based in the hospice

I’m a Health Care Assistant based in the hospice. An average day for me focuses on my work in the Anniversary Centre. My day will involve anything from greeting patients as they arrive and getting them settled, to attending patient meetings to understand their different needs; and doing important personal care work like brushing a patient’s hair, bathing them or simply listening to them.

Without professionals like me doing this job…

Patients and their families wouldn’t receive the care they expect and deserve. We can assist patients in a safe and welcoming environment. We can support them with their anxieties, and enable them to remain active as long as possible. Caring full time for a family member is a very demanding job and it’s important that my colleagues are here to help with those responsibilities. As you can imagine, this extra support can be a huge help to families and carers.

In conversation with Natalie

What little things do you do to help patients?

Even the smallest of things we do can make a massive difference to how patients feel, such as fingernail and toenail cutting, offering them a newspaper or magazine. A hug goes a long way too.

What gives you job satisfaction?

Knowing you can be there for someone through their most vulnerable stage and still be able to put a smile on their face is important to me.

What memorable moments have you had?

When a patient, who has a neurological illness and communicates through a message board, spelled out ‘You look rough today’. I loved that she felt comfortable enough to communicate that to me and it made me laugh. We have a lovely relationship even without words, just a look in her eyes and I get her.

What would you say to a potential donor?

Donating can make a difference to someone approaching the end of their life as they battle physical and emotional changes.

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