We asked one of our experienced nurses working in London to tell us more about the challenges of providing private nursing care at home in London.
Illness inevitably heralds discomfort and vulnerability. As private nurses at home, it is our responsibility to understand and respect that, and gently tend to patient needs and wishes – maintaining utmost patient wellbeing – while building patient relationships which engender mutual trust.
As we do ourselves, patients may cling to previous lifestyle habits for comfort, that especially in illness, can be detrimental to their well-being. Sensitive communication and compassion are the only effective way to approach such situations; carefully guiding the patient to realization that quality of life is still possible, but it is achieved and enjoyed in a different way…
Just as patient and nurse relationships take time to nurture and develop, so to do relationships between all members of a patient’s multidisciplinary team. Clear communication and collaboration to accommodate varying personalities and “bedside manners” within a multidisciplinary team is essential for a smooth and united care delivery to the patient.
Caring for a bed-bound patient who may believe, because of diagnosis, that they will only deteriorate from then on, because they can hardly speak, read or walk and certainly not leave their home.
Then, through care and perseverance, encouraging them to discover quality of life: Going out of their house, going to watch a favourite sport, exchanging jokes and seeing them walk outside in the sun. That’s when the core of what I do and why I do it comes home to me.
Medical knowledge and experience combined with positivity, fun, love and compassion.
As an example, with one recent client, I would see him more than any other carer, which means that I have an in-depth awareness of him and his physical and emotional state, so I am well placed to orchestrate care with confidence.
Always in consultation with HP Homecare’s Registered Manager, I will alert the general practitioner when there is something of concern which falls outside of our care remit; otherwise, I liaise and regularly discuss the patient with his assigned occupational therapist, physiotherapist, district nurse, GP, other nurses and care assistants. We’re a united front. There really is no other way to deliver ultimate patient care.
It’s everything. Without discretion and sensitivity, a patient’s vulnerability would always be to the fore and trust would be broken.
It is great privilege and responsibility to decide how somebody lives, which is essentially what a homecare nurse does.
When a person is somewhere they perceive as home, it undoubtedly improves their feelings of security, comfort, choice, and happiness. This paves the way to a closer and more open relationship between patient and carer.
It has enabled me to practice holistic rehabilitation. As I mentioned earlier, seeing how a bed-bound patient through diligent and sensitive nursing can transition from being inactive and despondent, to achieving relative quality of life, with some independence is inspirational.
I knew that I wanted to do something more worthwhile than I had been doing, and become more focused on helping people. I’d also long harboured an interest in health.