A MANORLANDS nurse has spoken of the "privilege" of caring for people as they near the end of their life.

Joanne Goodman, who has worked at the Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice for just over a year, has talked about her experiences in support of International Nurses Day.

She qualified as a nurse more than two decades ago and has worked in a range of areas including general surgery, elderly and dementia care, sexual health and district nursing.

Latterly she was working in a hospital A&E department, but the stress of the job was starting to take its toll.

"I knew someone who worked at Manorlands so I decided to give the hospice a call," says Joanne, 45.

"I arranged a visit and was subsequently successful in applying for a nurse position.

"Palliative care is something that I had always wanted to do and I wish I'd done it sooner, as I think I’ve found my calling. I really enjoy going to work, it’s so fulfilling.

"The best part of my job is helping people find peace at the end of their life, as well as supporting their family and loved ones when they are going through such a difficult time. People are so grateful that we’re there and it’s such a privilege."

Joanne says there are many misconceptions about working in palliative care, which she's keen to dispel.

"People often think that being a palliative care nurse means that you just sit by someone’s bedside and hold their hand, but it is so much more than that," she says.

"We assess, plan and provide for patients’ individual needs, make sure they are comfortable and do what we can to help them achieve the best quality of life for the time they have left. We also work alongside the wider multidisciplinary team – including doctors, physiotherapists, occupational and complementary therapists and family support – who combine specialist medical care with emotional, practical and spiritual support."

Joanne adds: "We have a great team at Sue Ryder Manorlands hospice, it is like working in a big family. Everyone is so helpful and there's always someone to talk to, which is important as it can be a very emotional job. I’ve made some new friends too, which is lovely.

"People often say 'I couldn’t do what you do', but I love it."

For more about working in palliative care with Sue Ryder, visit sueryder.org/palliativecareers.