Career advice

A lifelong privilege

Palliative care nurse Helen Meehan says treating others as you would like to be treated is at the heart of what nursing is about
End of life care

As a lead nurse in palliative and end of life care at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Helen Meehan always keeps one thing in mind when caring for patients. ‘People never forget how we made them feel,’ she says.

Ms Meehan, who started her nurse training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in 1983, initially worked in oncology as a staff nurse before training as a midwife. However, she soon realised she was on the wrong path.

‘I missed nursing and the palliative care that was so much a part of my role as a staff nurse in the late 1980s and supporting patients with cancer.’

She adds: ‘Supporting patients at the end of life and their families requires all of your skills in assessment, care planning, communication and providing compassionate care. It can be challenging, but being human and treating others

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