Taking me out of my comfort zone

Inspired by the Lantern Model

21 July 2021

Tabitha Powles
Tabitha Powles

Tabitha recently attend the Lantern Model webinar series hosted by St Christopher’s CARE and has kindly shared her thoughts and learnings with us in the blog below. We’re also delighted that Tabitha will soon be joining St Christopher’s as an Associate Clinical Nurse Specialist – welcome Tabitha!

I have been truly inspired by the talks and conversations of the Lantern Webinars, which has reignited an enthusiasm and love for nursing. Truly thought provoking.

I signed up to the webinars in parallel to being redeployed to a covid ward during the pandemic’s second wave in January 2021. I wanted to gain more knowledge and an understanding of how to care and nurse a patient facing the end of their life.

This led me to contact St Christopher’s and speak with Nigel Dodds who introduced me to St Christopher’s Educational Programmes and the Lantern webinars. The webinars have helped me greatly, as I was looking after some people that were facing their imminent mortality.

I work as a HIV specialist nurse at the Mortimer Market clinic. I hadn’t worked on a ward for approximately twenty years. Working with dying patients on the ward was a scenario I had not experienced for a while. Although few patients died on the ward (they were usually transferred back to acute), they were in the phases leading up to death, with some patients saying and asking questions like, ‘Will my daughter be ok? What shall I do about the house? I just want this to all end; I miss my family’. I felt I wasn’t quite sure how to answer some of these questions or how to be.

The Lantern Model webinars really helped give me some points to think about, that I was able take into my daily working on the ward. I am now back in the clinic and constantly questioning how I can apply aspects of the Lantern Model in an outpatient setting.

Within my practice some patients do actively choose not to take their anti-retro viral therapy and I have questioned is the Lantern Model applicable in such a setting? I do feel the Lantern Model is a great way to work in general and can be applied universally to nursing.

I questioned whether end of life care in some areas during the pandemic had been neglected. Particularly where end of life care can extend to friends and family, had this been compromised due to restrictions?  Could this have been done another way?  I am now wondering: is palliative care is an area I would be interested in? 

I loved the idea of integrating the art and science of care and the question, ‘Is the Lantern Model a philosophy or a model?’ So many things to think about! HIV care has become very treatment and task focused. I have been stimulated to rethink the relationship between the patient and nurse using the Lantern Model. 

As well as being a nurse I am also an artist. I do sketches at home from memory of experiences I have witnessed or had the privilege of carrying out, like personal care (just to reassure you I draw from memory rather than on duty!) Sometimes a picture can convey so much more than words. I have included a few of my sketched below as I would love to share them with you.

Tabitha Powles

Explore the Lantern Model

21 July 2021

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