Jess is a Nurse at Shooting Star Chase, working at Christopher’s in Guildford.
“People assume children’s hospices are sad and depressing but as soon as you walk into the building you realise it’s a lovely place to be. It’s like a home from home, filled with toys, games and colour. The aim is to make every moment count for the children and families we care for so there’s always something fun going on.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve seen a huge range of life-limiting conditions, right from diagnosis to end of life, and have the advantage of administering one-to-one care that I’d never experience in a hospital setting. We also benefit from caring for the child and family on a long term basis, which means we build up a fantastic relationship with them.
“We care for children aged 0 to 19 with a range of complicated illnesses and the same condition can often display differing symptoms and reactions. Each child has very specific needs so our hospice education team ensure we are up to date on paediatric care practices and we have regular mandatory and supplementary training.
“The best thing about my job is the children – they are superstars. Their life is full of hospital appointments and medications, and everyday is a struggle for them but they are incredibly brave. I feel privileged to be part of what they’re going through and offer care and support – it’s fulfilling to be able to treat them, ease their pain and put a smile on their face.
“You feel like part of a close knit unit here – the children, families and staff all eat together in the dining room every day and the team I work with are all fantastic at their jobs. We also have access to counsellors and my managers’ door is always open for a chat. I came here for my placement while at university and started working at the hospice after graduating. Two years in I still love it.”
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