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It helps to listen

I have spent most of my nursing career working in cancer care and hospices.

As a palliative care nurse, your role is focused on quality of life rather than quantity. That is what makes it so rewarding – being part of a person’s last hours is such a privilege.

Picture credit: iStock

Soon after I qualified, I was lucky enough to get a job on a busy surgical ward, working mostly nights. I enjoyed the challenges that this brought: emergency surgery at night, the post-operative patients and those waiting for surgery. It had real variety.

One night shift, I met a young woman in her thirties. She was being nursed in a side room and was waiting for news on her bowel surgery. The news was not good – she had advanced cancer of the bowel. They had removed what they could but she needed to be referred to the oncologist, and they were hoping she would be treated

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