“St Giles is a wonderful place to work, where you feel that you are making a difference every day.”
Nurse Consultant Jade Reberio has worked at St Giles Hospice for 10 years and loves her job because she knows she is making a real difference every day to the lives of so many people.
Jade (34), from Wednesbury, is based on the ward at the Whittington hospice and out in the community helping palliative care patients to control their symptoms, as well as offering leadership and support to other members of the nursing team.
Jade said: “Like any nursing role my job is different each day, so it is always interesting – and as I came into nursing with a desire to care for people this is the perfect job for me.
“Working in palliative care you don’t get to cure people, but patients are living with symptoms which you can help to ease. You can make improvements to the quality of life for your patients and their families, which is so rewarding.”
After leaving school, Jade went to college to study a BTEC National Diploma in Care and then went to Wolverhampton University for three years to study for a Nursing Diploma of Higher Education. After qualifying, she worked at Sandwell Hospital for two years, where she developed an interest in elderly and palliative care.
“At first I didn’t know much about hospices but I was keen to progress in palliative care,” Jade added. “I wanted to help people who were dying as much as I could. A former colleague suggested that I apply for a Staff Nurse position at St Giles Hospice in Walsall. I worked as a Staff Nurse there for a year and then became a sister on the ward.”
Jade then trained to become an Advance Nurse Practitioner and St Giles supported her to study a Masters Degree in Advanced Clinical Practice. She recently took up her current role as Nurse Consultant.
“St Giles is a great place to have a nursing career,” said Jade. “I’ve gone from Staff Nurse to Nurse Consultant in eight years, which is a huge career progression, and I’ve been able to do my Masters. I don’t think these opportunities would have been available in the same way if I’d stayed working in a hospital.
“Training opportunities at St Giles are excellent. Everyone can apply for courses if they want to and St Giles will really help you to work towards your long-term goals. They invest in you and give you time to attend courses and study time to help you make the most of your work.
“We are encouraged to share our knowledge – I’ve had opportunities to teach nurses, doctors, health care assistants and volunteers. We work hard to upskill our workforce and we are always well supported by our consultants.”
Jade added that teamwork and cooperation were central to the St Giles philosophy, which fostered great relationships within the teams at the hospice as well as good links with community nursing, hospital and other health provider teams.
She said: “St Giles is a wonderful place to work and you feel that you are making a difference every day. In a hospital environment you may be one among hundreds of clinical staff but here you are part of a smaller, more responsive team.
“You know everybody and they know you and you feel valued in your work. If you have any suggestions or concerns, you know you will be listened to.
“Our staff-to-patient ratio allows us to support our patients’ needs and it’s a really personal, holistic approach supported by a high level of clinical management to ensure we get the best outcomes.
“We can get to know our patients and their families in their homes and they get to know us. It means they get great continuity of care because whenever patients come in they know us and we remember them.
“In my time here we’ve been able to arrange weddings, blessings and birthday parties for our patients. When people have been too ill to go out to the pictures we’ve arranged movie nights in the hospice for them with their families.
“We used our hoist to help one man sit on his motorbike for the last time and we brought another patient’s horse in to the hospice so he could say goodbye to him. These are the kind of personal touches that make working at St Giles so special – these things are so much easier to achieve in a hospice environment.”