Here’s an email we received recently, edited slightly to cover the identities of the individuals involved.
“I took a call earlier this afternoon from a carer who works for your agency, she was with a client and his son. I was incredibly impressed at how she:
· gave a comprehensive patient handover, ensuring I had the right information, delivered in a calm, caring and methodical manner.
· helped me reach the decision that the gentleman was likely approaching the last hours of his life.
· discussed a range of end of life advance care plans to ensure they were all in place
· continued to support the patient’s son, who was in the background – by ensuring she checked out everything we were discussing with him and giving him time to process this very sad news about his dad. She didn’t rush him and made sure he had time to ask questions
Furthermore, she informed me that she was now on her break and was planning on remaining at the house until needed at her next client, so that she could continue to support the son to make contact with his siblings to ensure follow up support was there/on its way once she left the house. She talked about the patient in a truly person centered manner, telling me that the patient’s wife had died at home, re-affirming the decisions about preferred place of care and the preferred place of death for this gentleman.
Good end of life care is incredibly important. The son sounded anxious and initially thought he wanted his dad to be taken to hospital. Your carer took time to explain everything I was saying with regards to ensuring his dad’s wishes to remain at home were met. Having these challenging conversations is hard enough at the best of times, but having these conversations via a 3-way telephone call required excellent advanced communication skills – which your carer demonstrated.
I fed back to your carer, about how fantastic I thought she was but I wanted to take time to inform you about the situation she has been faced with this afternoon. I know it is “part of the job” but the level of compassion and kindness that your carer displayed this evening went above and beyond. Thank you for employing a truly caring individual in order to ensure that your patients/clients have a high quality of care.
Specialist Palliative Care Nurse